One of the most beautiful and adventurous journeys by train, is being offered to the passengers of the Kalavrita (Καλάβρυτα) rack railway for many decades. The small and flexible train (τρένο) of this route has the ability to “climb” up, defying the steep slopes (απότομες πλαγιές) which can reach a gradient of 17.5% !
The railway is single line with just 75 cm gauge which covers a route of 22,3km. Within this route there are three sections with Abt system rack for a total of 3.8 km. Maximum speed is 40 km/h for adhesion sections and 12 km/h for rack sections.
Departing (αναχωρόντας) from the seaside town of Diakopto (Διακοπτό) and following the footsteps of Vouraikos (Βουραϊκός) river, the train crosses the gorge of Vouraikos and ends after 65 minutes to the beautiful and historic town of Kalavryta, located 720 meters above the sea. The route passes through numerous tunnels, bridges, large and small waterfalls and breathtaking scenery. Kalavryta region is a tourist resort for all seasons with visitors around the world. This is historical place with the unrivaled natural beauty has the most organized ski centers in the country.
The construction of the railway network began in 1889 and took 5 years to be completed. The little train is so well integrated into the natural environment (περιβάλλον), that is seems like it was always there. The method of construction was friendly to the ecosystem of the gorge (φαράγγι). With wood and stone taken from the very same area, the technicians of that time did such a good work that you think that all these have been made by the nature (φύση) itself.
In 2003 an extensive reconstruction of the network has begun, modernizing its lines and improving the ease of the travel. In the conventional sections of the route the rails have been replaced completely and the steel bridges were reinforced. Nowadays the railcars of the Swiss company STADLER are used which are the most modern and safe railcars of this form ready to accommodate 110 passengers.
Enjoy the ride!
source : Railway Friends Association web page.