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Enotiki R.R. station

Just one year after the Berlin Treaty signing and the consequent annexation of Epirus and Thessaly to the Greek state, the need for immediate construction of a reliable road for the transportation of people and (especially) the products of the rich lands of Thessaly to the south became clear. 


The national road network at the time consisted of nothing but a few miserable unpaved muddy roads, and the available vehicles were mainly ox-carts and wagons, which took days if not weeks to get from Larissa, the capital of Thessaly, to Athens. 
Furthermore, factors such as the rugged geographical relief, the unpredictable weather conditions and the bandits lurking at every kilometer of the route, made road transport between the capital and the newly acquired regions virtually impossible.
The solution to the puzzle came to be given in 1881 by the Alexandros Koumoundouros' government, that decided to build a railway from the port of Volos to Larissa. That way, passengers and goods coming from the fertile Thessaly plain would be loaded onto the train and from there onto a ship, making sure their safe transport to the port of Piraeus and subsequently all over the country.

 

The railway construction project was appointed to Theodoros Mavrogordatos, a banker from Constantinople closely related to both Ottoman and Greek high ranking officials, whose fortune sky-rocketed when he acquired vast fertile lands in Thessaly from Ottoman landlords fleeing to Turkey.
 

The very next year, Charilaos Trikoupis, the newly appointed P.M. noticed several reasons why the Mavrogordatos contract would be unprofitable for the Greek state:
The railroad as planned, would only serve a small part of Thessaly. 
The project as a whole was far too easy to build, as the Larissa-Volos section consists almost completely of flatlands provided for free by the government, with no need for complex or expensive technical constructions.
Upon its completion, the newbuilt railway would be fully operated  by the contractor and all revenues would be his, without any further obligation or commitment, making it extremely profitable for him and him alone.

 

After some negotiating, a new contract is signed, and Mavrogordatos undertakes the construction of a one-metre-wide railway line to Larissa and its extension to the remote-most but crucial area of Kalambaka, via Karditsa and Trikala. For this purpose, the Railways of Thessaly S.A. was established, the construction of the project began and the railway reached Larissa in 1883, Sofades and Farsala in 1885, Karditsa and finally Kalambaka in 1886.
 

In 1918, the railway connection between Athens and Thessaloniki is completed and the problem that arises is that the new network is connected to those of Turkey and Europe via Yugoslavia, thus it follows the international norm of the standard track gauge (1,435 mm wide) while that of the Thessalian Railways remains metric (1,000 mm wide). As a result, passengers and goods destined to Volos and vice versa have to be transferred from one train to another, due to the incompatibility of the two railways with each other.


For passengers, the transfer took place at the station of Paleofarsalos, and for the needs of goods and livestock, the station of "Enotiki" was created 2 km down the road, which, as its name suggests, connected the two commercial networks with extensive storage and transhipment facilities as well as storage areas for rolling stock and other material.
In 1955, Railways of Thessaly S.A. was acquired and absorbed by the Hellenic State Railways (S.E.K.), in 1960 they were converted into standard gauge, in '71 they became part of O.S.E. and continued their operation until mid '90s, when the routes were drastically reduced and many stations of the network, including that of "Enotiki", were closed for good.

 

Nowadays, the 'Enotiki' RR station, is just lying there, completely cut off from the rest of the railway network, nothing but a relic of its glorious past. Most of the facilities are lying in ruins, buildings are slowly but surely crumbling under the burden of time, while the surrounding area has turned into a vast graveyard with a multitude of machinery and rolling stock, all types of wagons, locomotives, carriages, sleepers and rails rotting away, at the mercy of weather conditions and looters.

Gear used: Praktica MTL5 / Chinon CM1 / Canon prima mini II /
Soligor wide-auto 28mm f2.8 / Auto Chinon 35mm f2.8 /
Unknown negative color film "Italian film inside", 2004 exp. 

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For a full-sized slide show click here.
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