Hellenic State Railways

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Hellenic State Railways or SEK (Greek: Σιδηρόδρομοι Ελληνικού Κράτους, Sidirodromi Ellinikou Kratous; Σ.Ε.Κ.) was a Greek public sector entity (legal person of public law, Greek: Ν.Π.Δ.Δ.) which was established in 1920 and operated most Greek railway lines until 1970.


The Hellenic State Railways took over the standard gauge railway line from Piraeus to Papapouli at the pre-1912 borders, the extension from Papapouli to Platy and most of the former Ottoman railway lines that were within the Greek borders after 1919. These lines were:

After World War II the Hellenic State Railways absorbed most other Greek railways, including:

Only Ellinikoi Ilektrikoi Sidirodromoi (E.I.S., later Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways), operator of Piraeus-Kifissia railway and Piraeus-Perama light railway, and the private mining and industrial lines remained independent.

The Hellenic State Railways existed until December 31, 1970. On the next day all railways in Greece with the exception of private industrial lines and E.I.S. were transferred to Hellenic Railways Organisation S.A., a state-owned corporation.

Network and other infrastructure[edit]

Brallos (or Papadia) bridge, rebuilt in 1945.

During this period very little expansion of the existing network took place, the most notable being:

A contract was signed in 1928 for a new line connecting Kalampaka to Kozani, but the project was abandoned in 1932 due to lack of funds.

The Greek railway system (both infrastructure and rolling stock) suffered serious damages during World War II (especially in 1943-1944) and did not become fully operational until 1950. However the viaduct of Achladokampos in Peloponnese, destroyed in 1944, was rebuilt only in 1974.

In 1960 the line from Larissa to Volos, of the former Thessaly Railways, was converted to standard gauge and was connected in Larissa with the line from Athens to Thessaloniki.

New station buildings were constructed in Thessaloniki (known as Thessaloniki New Passenger Station or ΝΕΣΘ) (1952), Larissa (1962), Lianokladi (1950), Sindos, Aiginio, Platamon, Florina, Edessa, Agras, Arnissa, Polykastron, Ptolemais and Kozani.

Rolling stock[edit]

Until 1962 the Hellenic State Railways used a variety of steam locomotives from various sources. Some of them belonged to the pre-1920 networks, a number were acquired as part of foreign aid programs after the war and a small number was procured.

Conversion to diesel traction began in the early 1960s. The first diesel locomotives were delivered in 1962 and included 30 Krupp Y60 shunters (Class A-101), 10 ALCo DL532B (Class A-201) and 10 ALCo DL500C (Class A-301). They were followed by classes A-221, A-321, A-351, A-401 and A-411 for the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge network and classes A-9101, A-9201 and A-9401 for the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge networks.

Diesel multiple units were first introduced in 1936 and became more common in the 1950s and 1960s. Steam locomotives were slowly phased out but were still in limited use in December 1970.

Steam locomotives[edit]

The following table shows steam locomotives acquired by the Hellenic State Railways between 1920 and 1969. They also continued to use an assortment of older types of locomotives inherited from the previous Greek and Ottoman railway companies.[1][2][3]

PhotoClassNumbersTypeQuantityManufacturerSerial Nos.YearPowerNotes
Αα1–40-4-0T4Ex CO 403–408
Βα11–?2-4-0TEx CO 321–328 series
Γα21–224-4-0T2Neilson & Co.1892Ex SEK 301–302, originally SAP
Γβ31–344-4-04Ex CO
510-6-0ST1Manning Wardle1892Ex SAP
USATC S100 locomotive Thessaloniki.jpgΔα
51–700-6-0T20Davenport Locomotive Works,
Vulcan Iron Works,
H. K. Porter, Inc.
1945–1946730 hp (544 kW)USATC S100; several rebuilt as 0-6-0
Δβ61-?0-6-0Ex Railway Operating Division
Δγ71-750-6-05Ex JSC 50–54
CFFH No102.jpgΔγ764-4-01StEG1888Ex CFFH 102, previously CO
Δδ81–870-6-07Ex CO 4–10
Δε88–1030-6-0Ex CO 11–54 series
Δζ111–1140-6-04Ex CO 502–506
Εα201–2232-6-0T23Batignolles (13)
St. Léonard (10)
1903–1907Ex SEK 101–123
Εβ231–2322-6-02Ex CO 509–510
Εγ241–2432-6-03Ex CO 521–523
Ζα301–3074-6-07Batignolles1906Ex SEK 201–207; four-cylinder de Glenn compounds, based on Midi 1400 class
Ζβ3114-6-01Ex SEK 221
Ζγ321–3304-6-010Ex JSC 101–110
Ζδ341–3504-6-010Ex Prussian P 8
Ζε331–3332-6-23Ex CFFH
Ηα4010-8-01Ex JSC, originally Prussian G 7
Ηβ411–4230-8-013Ex JSC 1–16
Ηγ431–4320-8-02Ex SBB 4105, 4112
Ηδ441–4430-8-03Ex SBB 4130, 4134, 4135
Ηε444–4462-8-03Batignolles1924903 hp (673 kW)Ex CFFH, previously CO 260–262
Θα5012-8-01ex SEK 601
Θβ511–5122-8-02Ex SEK 621–622
2-8-027+25Baldwin Locomotive Works, American Locomotive Works, Lima Locomotive Works19471,200 hp (895 kW)USATC S160 521–537 coal-fired, 551–560 oil-fired, 571–595 from Italy in 1959 (FS Class 736)
Ια701–7202-8-220American Locomotive Company1915ex SEK 401–420
Κα801–8020-10-02ex SEK 521–522
Κβ811–8600-10-060StEG1922–1926895 kW (1,200 hp)kkStB / BBÖ class 80.900 (ÖBB class 57)
Κβ8090-10-01895 kW (1,200 hp)kkStB / BBÖ class 80.900 (ÖBB class 57); Ex CFFH
SEK-Kg-880.jpgΚγ861–8800-10-020Ateliers de Tubize,
Haine St Pierre,
St. Léonard
La Meuse
1929895 kW (1,200 hp)
Κδ881–8910-10-011HenschelEx Deutsche Reichsbahn 57.10-35 (Prussian G 10), used by the German occupation forces and left behind when they retreated in 1944
Λα901–9402-10-040StEG (10),
Škoda Works (30)
1925–19271,156 kW (1,550 hp)Südbahn class 580
Λβ951–9662-10-016North British Locomotive Company19461,141 kW (1,530 hp)WD Austerity 2-10-0
Λγ991–9982-10-08Baldwin Locomotive Works19471,270 kW (1,703 hp)
20070120-Rouf-Ma1002-0007A.jpgΜα1001–10202-10-220Ansaldo (10)
Breda (10)
1953–19542,180 kW (2,920 hp)

Diesel locomotives (standard gauge)[edit]

20090212-Thessaloniki-A104.jpgA-1010-6-0 dh30Krupp1962–1967Y60478 kW (641 hp)
20070611-AIR-A204-0002.jpgA-201Bo-Bo de10ALCo1962DL532B772 kW (1,035 hp)
A-301Co-Co de10ALCo1962DL500C1,470 kW (1,971 hp)
20071104-air-a326-0018.jpgA-321Co-Co de7ALCo1967DL5431,470 kW (1,971 hp)
20080531-7520-Tithorea-A367.jpgA-351Co-Co de26Alsthom1967CC AD 2100C11,544 kW (2,071 hp)
A-401Co-Co de10Siemens-Jung19661,470 kW (1,971 hp)
OSE 420 Paleofarsalos 1995.jpgA-411B-B dh20Krauss-Maffei1963V2001,618 kW (2,170 hp)

Diesel locomotives (metre gauge)[edit]

20070420-Korinthos-9106.JPGA-9101Co-Co de12ALCo1965DL537993 kW (1,332 hp)
20070829-PATRAS-A9202.jpgA-9201Co-Co de10Alsthom1967CC AD 1600A11,175 kW (1,576 hp)
20080405-Patras-A9415.jpgA-9401B-B dh20Mitsubishi196748-BB-HI478 kW (641 hp)

Diesel multiple units[edit]

The Hellenic State Railways bought their first DMUs in 1936 and acquired larger numbers in the 1950s. Additional metre gauge multiple units were ihnerited from networks absorbed in SEK.

(AA11)2-Bo de2Floridsdorf1936
03 427a Bf Litóchoro, Fiat-VT.jpgAA27-AA36
Station Athene 1979.jpgAA712-B20Ferrostaal-Esslingen1962

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ J.D.H. Smith (2005–2007). "HSR steam locomotives". Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  2. ^ Zartaloudis et al. 1997, pp. 172–173.
  3. ^ Durrant 1972, pp. 51–54.
  • Durrant, A. E. (1972) [1966]. The Steam Locomotives of Eastern Europe. Newton Abbot, Devon, UK: David and Charles. pp. 50–60. ISBN 0-7153-4077-8. 
  • Smith, J. D. H. (2005–2007). "HSR steam locomotives". Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  • Zartaloudis, I.; Karatolos, D.; Koutelidis, D.; Nathenas, G.; Fasoulas, S.; Filippoupolitis, A. (1997). Οι Ελληνικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι (Hellenic Railways) (in Greek). Μίλητος (Militos). ISBN 960-8460-07-7.  It is the only extensive and authoritative source for the history of Greek railways.

Further reading[edit]