According to secure information of ypodomes.com, the completion of electrification works on Athens-Thessaloniki railway corridor (Lianokladi-Domokos section) is quite likely to accelerate the arrival of Pendolino trains, which are expected to be completed around mid-April.
As it has been mentioned already in a previous article, after the complete electrification of the line, TRAINOSE is expected to launch electric trains that will not need to change engines, covering the distance between Athens and Thessaloniki in about 4 hours, with an express itinerary.
This itinerary will be starting very early from Thessaloniki and will be returning from Athens in the afternoon. There are also thoughts for using a second train that will be conducting the reverse itinerary, namely Athens-Thessaloniki-Athens.
What is most interesting at this point is with what trains will the express itinerary be covered. Unconfirmed information currently speak of an ETR-485 (Pendolino, the same that was presented during Thessaloniki International Fair 2018, last September) coming from Italy in April.
If this does happen, the Italian train will come much earlier than originally said, i.e. towards the end of the year. What remains to be confirmed is the arrival of 4 more trains from Italy until the end of the summer, that will be launched on Athens-Thessaloniki corridor with the aim of reducing the time of the itinerary to 3 hours and 45 minutes.
What is now left to be done, in terms of construction works, is the completion of the remaining ETCS and signaling systems' installation, hopefully by the end of the year, that will allow a further reduction of the time distance between the 2 Greek cities to just 3 hours and 20 minutes.