Greek Gov’t Talks of New State Railway after Sale of Trainose

Saturday, January 21st, 2017
Last Update: 19:31

KikThe Greek government is talking about the establishment of a new state-owned railway system only days after the sale of Trainose to Italian state-run Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, Kathimerini newspaper reports.

The talk is about a new state-operated railway through Gaiaose, the railway properties company supervised by the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry. According to the report, Athanasios Schizas, Gaiaose chief executive officer, said his company will acquire a railway license, renovate existing carriages and within three years the new railway system will be along the same standards of European railroads. The project will cost an estimated 40-45 million euros.

Schizas explained that the new railway will not compete with Italian-owned Trainose, but the Greek state has to have a railway license in its possession.

The Infrastructure and Transport Ministry has raised the issue of the lease of the locomotives and carriages from the stock of the Greek state which is entirely owned by Gaiaose. There is also the issue of Trainose’s 50 million euros in annual subsidies for servicing unpopular routes, which constitutes a public service obligation.

According to the report, if Gaiaose proceeds with the project, the Trainose deal with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane might not be completed smoothly. And the concession is linked to the write-off of a Trainose debt to the state amounting to 750 million euros.

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