The rail journey from Athens to Thessaloniki will be shortened to just three hours and 20 minutes when the new rolling stock arrives next next autumn, provided that all works on an electric double railway line have been completed by the end of June, TrainOSE and Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiano officials said.
Addressing an event on Wednesday organised by the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Greek-Italian Chamber of Thessaloniki, the officials reiterated their interest in acquiring ROSCO, the Greek rolling stock maintenance company.
“International growth is one of the five pylons of our strategy and TrainOSE is closely linked with this goal,” Giovanni Rocca, vice-president of International Relations in Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiano said, adding that FSI Group is the third largest in Europe, offering competitive and quality services. The Group has already acquired one road transport company in the UK, has established activities in Germany, France, Holland and Serbia and also operates in transport and infrastructure.
“We are also interested in infrastructure constructions, as main underwriter. We do not have a problem to take over engineering and infrastructure projects, because we are interested in this activity,” Rocca said. He noted that the FSI Group was interested in taking over the management of Egnatia Road but stressed that a priority was the purchase of ROSCO.
“The geopolitical position of the country is very significant for all of Europe and we will try to exploit that as much as possible,” TrainOSE CEO Filippos Tsalidis said. He announced a significant increase in transport operations in the early 2018 compared with the previous years, particularly in container transport, while he estimated that this trend could rise even more. Tsalidis said FSI Group will begin unfolding a 500-million-euro investment from next autumn to upgrade TrainOSE services and noted that Greek authorities were making every effort to complete works on the electric double railway line. He said there was still time for candidates to submit an improved offer for the acquisition of ROSCO and noted there was a prospect to raise further job positions in the company.