The fastest train between Athens and Thessaloniki now takes 4h 10min for the 502km trip compared with 5h 23min previously, while the remaining four daily trains take 4h 23min compared with 5h 28min.

The acceleration has been possible by the completion of a two-decade long project to upgrade and electrify the principal rail artery in Greece.

New alignment

The project includes a new 106km double-track alignment between Tithorea and Domokos, replacing a 122km single-track line which suffered from steep gradients and sharp curves. The €1.8bn line has a design speed of 200km/h and includes new stations at Molos and Agios Stefanos.

The Athens - Thessaloniki line is electrified at 25kV ac 50Hz and equipped with ETCS Level 1 throughout.