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30 May, 2024
 
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New minister announces urgent safety upgrades to rail network

Rail services may have to be cut down as a result, says minister

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

Greece’s newly-appointed transport minister on Wednesday announced a series of measures to improve the safety of the country’s railway system in the wake of the deadly train collision on February 28.

In a press conference, Giorgos Gerapetritis said that the government will step up the implementation of a contract for the automatic operation and signaling of the railway network. He said that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has contacted the head of French train maker and manufacturing group Alstom over the issue.

Gerapetritis also said that Greece will resume passenger train operations after introducing emergency safety upgrades, including the placement of two stationmasters at all stations. He added that rail services may have to be cut down as a result.

The announcements were made as thousands of workers walked off the job to protest the disaster that killed 57 people, with mass demonstrations expected to culminate outside Parliament in Athens at midday.

Gerapetritis acknowledged major oversights and omissions in safety procedures on the night of the collision while expressing his grief over the disaster.

“I, too, would express my anguish and heartbreak over what happened in Tempe. This is an unprecedented national tragedy, which has scarred us all because of the magnitude of the tragedy: this unjustified loss of a great number of our fellow human beings,” he said.

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