120 years are completed from the inauguration of the unique Diakopto-Kalavrita rack railway. The construction of this special line began in 1889 by the Hellenic state and finished in 1895. The official opening of the first and only rack railway line decided to be the 10th of March 1896, two weeks before the first modern Olympic games. Since then the line only stopped its operation for 3 years between 2006 and 2009 for a general reconstruction and maintenance. The route starts from the seaside Diakopto and climbs in just 23 km to Kalavrita, reaching the altitude of 720m at Mt. Chelmos. This means that there are maximum inclinations of 17,5%. Vouraikos river that runs next to line offers the passenger a unique and unforgettable view. This year, in order to celebrate the 120 years, a festival was organized at the city of Kalavrita. For this celebration, the museum old lady DK8.001 hauled a special train between Kerpini and Kalavrita with the special guests and Hellenes railfans. DK8.001 was the first steam locomotive of the line which was built by the French Cail in 1891. For over 60 years se offered heer services to the line till se was replaced by Billard railcars in 1960s. Her first overhaul took place in 1996 due to the celebrations of 100 years of rack railway’s operation. Then she was reconstructed in 2015 and know she is capable of running in this beautiful route again. We all hope and dream to see the old lady running on regular base, every weekend, in order to more visitors would have the chance to see her and live the magic era of steam once again into the magnificent Vouraikos gorge.
Scenes Filmed and Edited by Alexander Sikalias
- Steam Loco ΔΚ8.001 at Rack Railway's Festival, November 2016.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeU7GL64-mc&feature=em-upload_owner