1882, Athens started a tram system with 16 small vehicles pulled
by, in total, 800 horses. These first lines connected the center
of Athens with its suburbs Ambelokipi, Patissia and Omonia square
with Syntagma, Gazi and Kerameikos. Five years later, the coal
tram of Faliro connected Academia with New and Old Faliro on
By 1909 the tram network had 257 vehicles, 150 with an engine and
107 wagons. They all were made in Belgium, had electricity and
lights as well as innovative seats for 16 people and there was
room for another 14 standing.
In October of 1940, the Athens
trams participated in the mobilization for World War II. After
the occupation, the fall of the Athens center tram system sets
in and the last tram rings its bell for the very last time in
October 1960. Only one tram line keeps operating (Perama to
Piraeus) till 1977. In 52 years, the Athens tram system carried
3 billion passengers.
On 19 July 2004 the Tram A.E. started operating a brand new
tram system in Athens, which transports us quickly and safely to our destination, connecting the center of Athens with the southern suburbs.
The new tram system successfully transported all passengers during the Olympic Games, despite the limited adjustment of time.
35 Hypermodern trams transport passengers
on four different lines:
Aristophanis:Vouliagmenis avenue – Stadium of Peace and Friendship
Aischylos: Vouliagmenis avenue – Kolimvitirio (Glyfada)
Thoukydidis: Stadium of Peace and Friendship (Faliro) –
Aristotelis: Kolimvitirio (Glyfada) – Syntagma
As far as the trains are concerned the Greek railway service is run by Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE). Greek trains have first- and second-class accommodation and there are luxury sleeper trains on selected routes. However, the rail service is limited to the northern and eastern mainland and parts of the Peloponnese.
Trains are cheaper than buses but generally much slower. Reservations are available for no extra charge and there is a 20% rebate on return fares. Touring cards, issued by OSE, entitle the holder to unlimited second-class travel at a reduced cost for 10, 20 or 30 days - there are further discounts for groups.
All trains now depart from Larissis station, off Dheliyani (tel: 210 529 8829). Facilities at Larissis station are minimal, basically left luggage and a couple of bars.
The domestic railway network is limited to the mainland and is generally slower than travel by road. Destinations include Patra (fastest journey time - 3 hours 20 minutes) and Kalamata (fastest journey time - 7 hours 10 minutes).
International train services require changing at Thessaloniki (fastest journey time - 4 hours 15 minutes), from where the only direct services are to Bulgaria, Croatia, FYROM (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey.
A train to London, for example, requires a complicated series of changes and takes three and a half days.
See also Athens Train map