February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Hellenic Train fined €300,000 for poor service


Rail operator Hellenic Train SA has been fined €300,000 by the Hellenic Railways Regulatory Authority (RAS) for having to delay 820 passengers in difficult weather conditions on January 24, when five trains were stuck on Greece’s main north-south rail route.

After a multi-month audit of Hellenic Train, a subsidiary of the Italian group Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), the regulator found serious violations of European norms in terms of obligations to its passengers, especially in January 2022, after which the passengers did not receive any compensation from the company or notification of how they can do it.

“Hellenic Train SA did not take immediate action to organize alternative transport services for passengers who not only did not reach their alternative or original destination on time, but also stayed for several hours in very difficult weather conditions,” said RAS head Ioanna Ciaparikou. ” Passengers have suffered physically and psychologically by being locked in trains, at or outside train stations, without timely, complete and clear information about the end of the journey.”

The authorities also ordered the company to take a number of other actions related to passengers, to better comply with the rules EU and, if necessary, change the terms of service for passengers, otherwise it will face additional fines and / or other measures.

In the past, RAS has also received several complaints from passengers about the lack of information about canceled or delayed trains in both Athens and Thessaloniki. Earlier this month, the agency also pointed to issues of poor equipment condition, staff cuts due to Covid-19, and poor management of overcrowded platforms.

On January 24, 2022, a maneuverable diesel locomotive collided with by passenger train No. 54 Athens-Thessaloniki, which resulted in injuries to several people. Due to the accident, the train got stuck on the haul between stations Livadia and Tiforea, due to engine problems.

According to the publication, the train stood for about 5 hours on the haul between stations. without electricity and heating in the cold.

After 5 hours (!), at 20:00, help arrived at the stuck train. However, when the diesel locomotive was tried to be attached to the train, due to the driver’s error in choosing the speed associated with poor visibility, he crashed into the rear car, as a result of which the driver, a railway worker and several passengers were injured. This accident and the illiterate actions of the railway staff led to delays in the movement of 5 trains for more than 7 hours.

According to the publication, the train stood for about 5 hours on the haul between stations. without electricity and heating in the cold.

After 5 hours (!), at 20:00, help arrived at the stuck train. However, when the diesel locomotive was tried to be attached to the train, due to the driver’s error in choosing the speed associated with poor visibility, he crashed into the rear car, as a result of which the driver, a railway worker and several passengers were injured. This accident and the illiterate actions of the railway staff led to delays in the movement of 5 trains for more than 7 hours.



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