Train and Rail Travel in Thessaly Page 1 (see Greece train map)
Thessaly Railway / Volos, Kalambaka, Pilio
This entire meter gauge railway is 251km/155miles long. The stretch going west from Volos through the plain of Thessaly to the Pindos foothills in Kalambaka, is 164km/101miles long. Going southeast from Volos to Milies on the Pilio/Pelion peninsula is a 26km long, 60cm gauge line, the latter closed in 1971, but reopened again in 1996. This line is the only regularly operating steam-powered railway in Greece today. It links the huge agricultural plain with the sea, providing transport for its produce. It also gives access (via Kardhitsa) to the Agrafa mountains in western central Greece, and through Kalambaka to the high Pindos mountains, both areas with considerable mountain wilderness and opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, canoeing and white-water rafting.
The standard gauge line to Larissa links Volos as well with the major metropolitan areas of Athens and Thessaloniki. Volos. The train station here is two storey, and quite architecturally interesting; the loft area below its roof has been converted into a museum for historical railway artifacts. Contact the office of the OSE regional Chief Engineer if you want to see it: Tel-24210 23 424; Mon-Fri 8:30am-3pm).
It is a little known fact that the cars of the Greek royal train, are also stored in Volos, and can be visited via persuasion of local officials. There is a local associated dedicated to the promotion and preservation of rail service in Volos, as well.
The Larissa line (standard gauge): 60km in length, this line is served by all the IC trains to Volos and daily diesel rail car shuttles. Most rail travellers begin their trips to Volos from Larissa.
The population of Larissa is about 125,000; the largest city in central Thessaly, an important road and rail junction, government and religious administrative seat. This city has various monuments from the 3rd century BC through the Turkish era, and its lively Platia Sapka, shaded by canopied orange trees, has many cafes, sweet shops and cinemas; the Alkazar Park, on the other side of the Pinios River, is a pleasant place to stop and rest from travelling.