Title

RAILROADS IN GREECE: HISTORY, CHARACTERISTICS, AND FORECASTS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - history, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, ridership - demand, economics - operating costs, organisation - competition, mode - rail

Keywords

Time series analysis, Scenarios, Railways, Railroads, Projections, Passenger traffic, Passenger service, Operating costs, Inflation, History, Gross national product, Greek Railways Organization, Greece, Goods movement, Freight traffic, Freight service, Forecasting, Demand, Cost of operation, Competition

Abstract

Greece was relatively tardy in implementing a national rail network. The Greek Railways Organization (OSE) was formed in 1970 and united a number of regional railroads, some dating back to 1884. The current rail network in Greece has a length of approximately 2500 km with standard- and metric-gage tracks. Disadvantages of the network include a high percentage of single-line track, lack of homogeneity of track gage, inefficient alignment, absence of intermodal connections, and many at-grade intersections. Advantages include double tracks in a significant part of the Athens-Thessalonica axis that serves more than half of Greece's population, improved operational controls, and popular intercity trains offering speedy service. Factors that affect railroad passenger and freight volumes include competition from airlines and motor carriers, gas prices, inflation, and the gross national product. These factors were used to estimate time-series models. Forecasts indicate increasing passenger demand and decreasing freight demand. OSE could provide a valuable and viable passenger service if cost-effective expenditures for improving it are possible. The future of freight operations is not hopeful. Additional emphasis may be placed on lines with historical and cultural significance. Further study is needed to assess the sustainability of forecasts vis-a-vis actual market shares and costs.