France to help Athens improve its railway

The agreement was signed on Monday in Athens. Just over two months after the tragic train accident that killed 57 people, Greece has formalized its railway cooperation with France. The Delegate Minister of Transport Clément Beaune and his counterpart Giorgos Gerapetritis have contractualized their commitment to a “transfer of French know-how” in order to “improve Greek railways”. On February 28, a passenger train and a freight train collided head-on in Tempé, central Greece. The two trains had traveled several miles on the same track on the country’s main railway line. The station master on duty had quickly acknowledged his responsibility. This accident had revealed “chronic failures” of the Greek rail network, especially in terms of safety systems.

Signed in the presence of Olivier Bancel, number two of SNCF Réseau, and the president of Greek railways OSE, this agreement follows a visit in April by Giorgos Gerapetritis to Paris to ask for French help in matters of railways. . This contract between the two countries should allow “the regular reassessment” of the railway operating systems. The objective is to improve “accident prevention”, “regulations” and “organisation” in matters of safety as well as “the organization of rail traffic control centres”.

Two weeks after this tragedy, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had asked the French railway manufacturer Alstom, responsible a few years ago for the installation of security systems on the Greek network, to complete the work “as soon as possible”. .

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