Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
The damage wreaked to the national highway and the railway in Central Greece from the passage of storm Daniel last week is extensive and will continue to seriously affect travel between the Greek capital in the south and the northern port city of Thessaloniki, authorities have said.
Operator Aegean Motorway confirmed in a social media post that the highway has been shut down between Larissa and Thessaloniki due to the swelling of the Pinios River, between the 366th and 374th kilometers, in the area of Tempe Vale. Motorists traveling between Athens and Thessaloniki should use the longer route via the Egnatia and Ionian highways, it said.
The sections operating normally are between Thessaloniki and Leptokarya, and from the Nikea (Larissa) junction to Athens, with both sections being open to traffic in both directions, it added.
In comments on Monday, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Christos Staikouras said that he is confident circulation will be restored within the next few days, though the full extent of the damage on the road cannot be assessed until the water recedes completely.
Staikouras was less confident about the restoration of train service, however.
“We have extensive damage to electrical and mechanical equipment, infrastructure, superstructure and bridges on the rail network. This means that it will be difficult to fully restore the Athens-Thessaloniki route in the next few weeks. The existing service to Domokos [from Athens] may possibly continue and buses may be employed from Larissa on, but the damage is significant,” he said.