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February 20, 2020

Odontotos: The Splendid Greek Rack Railway of the Peloponnese


People in many mountainous countries in Europe and beyond are used to rack railways, trains that are technically altered to be able to withstand the harsh mountainous conditions when they climb to higher altitudes.

Although Greece’s railway network is not massive, as it only connects its largest cities, the local train service between the towns of Diakopto and Kalavryta in Achaea, Peloponnese has its own, unique history and beauty.

Traditionally known in Greece as ”Odontotos,” which means ”the one with the teeth,” it once served as the main means of transportation for those who lived in the mountainous settlements of the northwestern Peloponnese.

Now, the Odontotos is a popular tourist attraction, since tens of thousands of people every year go there to enjoy the beautiful landscape and to take a ride on this historic train.

The modern route runs for a total of 22 kilometers (14 miles) from the town of Diakopto through the famous gorge of Vouraikos and the old monastery of Mega Spilaeon, all the way up to the historic town of Kalavryta.

Odontotos’ line is one of the narrowest to be found in Greece.

Currently, Trainose, Greece’s only train operator, plans to construct an additional network that will connect Kalavryta with the ski resort of the region.

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