Steam returns to Greek rack line

THE only rack railway in Greece – Diakoftó to Kalávryta on the Peloponnese Peninsula – celebrated its 120th birthday last year.

The steam workings in November were from Kalávryta to Kerpini (about 5km away) and return, but only operated for invited guests; there were no public trains. The picture shows DK 8001 (Cail 2343/1891) with the return working on November 5, approaching Kalávryta. The coach for this train – No. 131 – is built on one of the original 1891 carriage underframes and was re-bodied in the early 1950s. JAMES WAITE

And for the first time in a decade one of the original steam locomotives was restored for use and operated special trains.

The 750mm-gauge Abt rack-equipped line opened on March 10, 1896 after four years construction, and has three rack sections totalling 3.8km; much of the 22.3km long line is adhesion worked.

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The railway was sponsored and funded from the outset by the Greek state though the actual construction and operation were franchised out to the Peloponnese metre-gauge operator SPAP.

Read more in January’s issue of The RM

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