Italian state railway group Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) Italiane, owners of Greece’s national passenger and freight train operator Trainose, are moving full steam ahead with the launch by January 17, 2018, of Frecciabianca (or white arrow), a new passenger train set to run the Athens-Thessaloniki route in 4.5 hours.
The Italian operator, which purchased Trainose last January for a sum of 45 million euros, is focusing on the Athens-Thessaloniki route, which may include only one stop in Larissa. However the new route can only be operational if national railway operator OSE delivers the electrified Athens-Lianokladi line, according to Trainose CEO Philippos Tsalidis.
“Even without the ETCS, I think we can at least have one train a day operate the Athens-Thessaloniki route in four and a half hours,” added Tsalidis.
Meanwhile, FS Italiane has also expressed interest in the Hellenic Company for Rolling Stock Maintenance SA (EESSTY), which the government plans to privatize. FS Italiane plans to make a binding bid, but will request the extension of the tender deadline, which is November 3. Skoda Transportation has also expressed interest in EESSTY.