June 24, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The Pelion train is back on track: an amazing 16 km route

The famous Pelion train has resumed its route, going up and down the slopes of the beautiful Mount of the Centaurs.

Fans of vintage trains and unique routes from all over the world come to Volos to enjoy the route from Ano Lehonia to Milies with the “moutzouris” (“messy”, as a train that emits a black stream of smoke is called), mentally “traveling” to the beginning of the last century , when Evaristo De Chirico, the famous Italian engineer of that time and the father of the great artist Giorgio De Chirico, “took pencil and paper” and designed a real railway, unimaginable for those years. The project was not at all easy, since it was a construction project in the semi-mountainous and mountainous areas of Pelion, with the aim of quickly and safely transporting people and products to the port of Volos and back. But after significant delays, on December 16, 1892, an agreement was signed between the Thessalian Railways company and the Greek state.

The project was completed and the opening of the line took place almost 3 years later, on October 12, 1895, with the first route from Volos to Ano Lechonia, the length of the line was 13 kilometers and passed through the first reinforced concrete bridge in the whole country, the famous Vrychonas Bridge, which is still preserved today entrance to Kato Lehonia.

In 1900, it was decided to extend the line and a new contract was signed, and 3 years later, on July 2, 1903, an additional 16 kilometers of line were opened from Ano Lehonia to Milies, which was the most difficult section of the railway expansion.

In order for the train to reach Milies, many complex projects were required, namely the construction of nine two-arch, three-arch, four-arch and one five-arch stone bridges, as well as the creation of a long straight metal bridge. In one of them, the train moves along a curved track, and the visitor gets the impression that he is literally in the air and “hovering above the ground.”. To all this we must add several tunnels and pedestrian bridges, which still inspire admiration today.

Each train of the Lilliputian train has, in addition to the traction locomotive, which currently runs on diesel fuel, four more passenger cars, which are replaced in the summer by others, open type, without side shutters.

All of these amazing and unique structures were in danger of being destroyed by the natural disaster that struck Volos and Pelion in September 2023, but thanks to the numerous efforts of all parties, everything that was damaged was restored and the legendary train is once again running in its place. Moutzouris was laid up for eight months, but on May 3 she sounded her first whistle again.

Major travel agencies in Athens and Thessaloniki have included the vintage train route in the programs of their excursions that they organize in Magnesia, making a decisive contribution to the further strengthening of tourist flows and attendance.

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