ISAP: Wikis


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Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways S.A.
Type S.A. (corporation)
Predecessor Hellenic Electric Railways (ΕΗΣ)
Founded 1976
Headquarters Athens, Greece
Area served Athens metropolitan area
Industry Railway
Services Railway Athens-Piraeus-Kifissia
Owner(s) OASA S.A.
Employees 1284

I.S.A.P. is the acronym for the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways (Greek: Η.Σ.Α.Π. - Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι Αθηνών-Πειραιώς, Ilektrikoi Sidirodromoi Athinon - Pireos), the oldest urban rapid transit system of Athens metropolitan area in Greece. The current line evolved from the older Athens & Piraeus Railway and Lavrion Square-Strofyli railway. Today it is often shown on maps and route diagrams as part of Athens Metro, comprising Line 1 (Green Line), although it is owned and operated by a separate company.




Athens and Piraeus Railway

The old lever frame and track diagram of Omonoia station, now exhibited in the ISAP museum.

The line from Piraeus to Thision was inaugurated in February 27, 1869 as a steam train connecting Athens and its port, Piraeus, and was operated by Athens & Piraeus Railway Co (Greek: Σιδηρόδρομος Αθηνών-Πειραιώς or Σ.Α.Π.). It was the fourth urban rapid transit system to be constructed in the world. The project was considered important, so Queen Olga and the Prime Minister Thrasyvoulos Zaimis attended the inauguration ceremony. There were 8 train in each direction daily and 9 trains in each direction on Sundays.

In 1874 the Athens & Piraeus Railway Company was bought by the Bank of Industrial Credit (Greek: Τράπεζα Βιομηχανικής Πίστεως). Under the new ownership the railway procured additional rolling stock. Soon the line was extended to Omonoia Square with an underground section constructed with the cut-and-cover method.

The line was electrified in 1904 using the 600V DC, third rail, top contact system (today increased to 750V DC) by Thomson Houston.

Hellenic Electric Railways Company

In 1926 the operating company was bought by the Power and Traction Finance Ltd and renamed Ellinikoi Ilektrikoi Sidirodromoi (E.I.S., Greek: Ελληνικοί Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρόμοι or Ε.Η.Σ., translated as Hellenic Electric Railways). [1] In 1926 the sister company Ilektriki Etaireia Metaforon or H.E.M., also part of Power Group, took over the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in)  Lavrion Square-Strofyli railway. This line was eventually converted to standard gauge, double track and became an extension of the existing line, reaching Attiki in 1948 and Kifissia in 1958.

In 1976 E.I.S. was nationalized and renamed Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway S.A. (I.S.A.P). [2]

Network and stations

Southbound ISAP train enters Nerantziotissa station
Southbound ISAP train enters Nerantziotissa station
Line length: 25.657 km (15.943 mi)
Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) (Standard)
Pier Unknown route-map component "KBFa" Steam train
0.0 Piraeus ISAP museum
Junction from left Non-passenger terminus from right
Piraeus depot
Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Junction to left Non-passenger terminus from right
Faliron depot
Urban railway Station on track
2.110 Neon Faliron
Small bridge over water
Stop on track
3.980 Moschaton
Stop on track
5.560 Kallithea
Station on track
6.140 Tavros
Stop on track
7.015 Petralona
Junction to left Non-passenger terminus from right
Thision depot
Station on track
8.580 Thision
Enter and exit short tunnel
Enter and exit short tunnel
Unknown route-map component "utCONTr" Unknown route-map component "UTurmBHFo" Unknown route-map component "utCONTl"
9.070 Monastiraki Metro L3
Enter tunnel
Unknown route-map component "tABZlf" Unknown route-map component "tKDSTr"
Omonoia depot
Unknown route-map component "utCONTr" Unknown route-map component "tTBHFt" Unknown route-map component "utCONTl"
9.985 Omonoia Metro L2
Unknown route-map component "tHST" Unknown route-map component "utCONTg"
11.000 Victoria
Exit tunnel Unknown route-map component "utSTRrg" Unknown route-map component "utABZrf"
Station on track + Hub
Urban tunnel straight track + Hub
Urban tunnel stop on track + Hub
12.245 Attiki Metro L2
Junction from left Non-passenger terminus from right Unknown route-map component "utCONTf"
Attiki depot
Junction from left Unknown route-map component "tSTRrf"
Stop on track
13.160 Ag. Nikolaos
Stop on track
13.726 Kato Patissia
Stop on track
14.448 Ag. Eleftherios
Station on track
15.262 Ano Patissia
Stop on track
16.554 Perissos
Stop on track
17.230 Pefkakia
Station on track
17.918 Nea Ionia
Station on track
19.246 Neo Iraklio
Station on track
20.846 Irini
Junction to left Non-passenger terminus from right
Irini depot
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "THSTo" Continuation to left
21.824 Nerantziotissa OSE
Unknown route-map component "HST-ELEV"
23.453 Marousi
Stop on track
24.631 KAT
Unknown route-map component "KBFe"
25.657 Kifissia


Today the only line of ISAP connects the port of Piraeus with the northern suburb of Kifissia. As it was originally designed for steam traction, the line runs mostly above ground. However there are no level crossings. It is built to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge and is electrified using the 750V DC (originally 600V DC), third rail, top contact system, also used by Athens Metro Lines 2 and 3. The two systems (ISAP and Metro Line 2) have a physical connection at Attiki station.

From Piraeus the line runs eastwards to Neo Faliro and then north to Thision, approximately parallel to the main road connecting Athens and Piraeus. Between Monastiraki and Attiki the line runs underground. At Monastiraki passengers can change to Metro line 3 and at Omonoia and Attiki to Metro line 2. From Attiki the line continues north, following the alignment of the old "Attica Railways" through Patissia, the suburbs of Nea Ionia, Irakleio, Marousi and terminates at Kifissia. At Nerantziotissa passengers can change to the suburban line serving Athens International Airport.


Rolling stock

Steam locomotives

In the early period (1869-1904) the railway used 22 steam tank locomotives of about 6 different types. The majority were of 2-4-0T configuration, made in the United Kingdom by Hudswell-Clarke and Sharp-Stewart. [3]

First generation EMUs

Since electrification (1904) the railway used almost exclusively electric multiple unit (EMU) trains. The vehicles are classified in batches (or deliveries). The first four batches consisted of wooden passenger cars. Currently only a short train of two wooden railcars is preserved, modified with the addition of Scharfenberg couplers at each end and is displayed during special events.

Batch Year Description Photograph
1st Locomotive hauled stock
2nd 1904 40 railcars (20 DM and 20 T) made by Thomson Houston/Desouches David & Cie. Withdrawn in 1985. 271669186 08ea026bcf o.jpg
3rd 1914 9 railcars made by Baume Marpent/Desouches David & Cie. Withdrawn in 1985.
4th 1923 12 railcars of the Baume Marpent design, built at Piraeus Works. Withdrawn 1985.
- 1947-1948 Rebuilding and modernization of damaged rolling stock

The first generation rolling stock was numbered as in the following table:[4]

Marking number type
A1 to A11 11 DT
Γ417 to Γ427 11 DT
F410 to F418 18 T
B601 to B621 21 DM
Total 61

Second generation EMUs

The fifth (1951), sixth (1958) and seventh (1968) batches were of steel construction, made by Siemens-MAN. At the same time Scharfenberg couplers were introduced.

Batch Year Configuration Type Numbering Description Photograph
5th 1951 DM-DT or
DM 901-912 24 railcars, in 12 EMU-2 trains. Withdrawn in 1995.
DTL 701-706
DT 801-806
6th 1958 DM-DT or
DM 913-928 32 railcars, in 16 EMU-2 trains. Withdrawn. Piraeus Underground Station 1981b.jpg
DTL 707-714
DT 807-814
7th 1968-1969 DM-DT or
DM 929-937 18 railcars, in 8 EMU-2 trains. Some rearranged in EMU-5 trains. Withdrawn.
DTL 715-718
DT 815-819

Third generation EMUs

Currently ISAP uses only modern trains of batches 8, 10 and 11.[5] Batch 8 (1983-1985) consists of five-car trains made by Siemens-MAN. Trains of batch 9 were made by LEW in the German Democratic Republic and have been withdrawn. The trains of the 10th batch (1994), similar to those of the 8th batch, were built by Hellenic Shipyards S.A. using Simenes-MAN design and mechanical parts. The 11th batch (2002) trains, with three phase AC motors were also constructed by Hellenic Shipyards S.A. using ADtranz-Siemens design and mechanical parts.

Batch Year Configuration Type Numbering Description Photograph
8th 1983-1985 DM-T-DM+DT-DM DM 101-145 75 railcars made by MAN/Siemens in EMU-5 sets. ISAP Thision sidings.jpg
T 201-215
DT 301-315
9th 1983-1985 DM-M+M-DM DM 1101-1125 50 railcars made of aluminium by LEW (type GIII) in EMU-4 sets later rearranged in EMU-6 (DM-M+M-DM+M-DM). All withdrawn. ISAP LEW GIII.jpg
M 2201-2225
10th 1993-1995 DM-T-DM+DT-DM DM 146-175 50 railcars made by MAN-AEG/Siemens-Hellenic Shipyards in EMU-5 sets.
T 216-225
DT 316-325
11th 2000-2004 DM-T-DM+DM-T-DM DM 3101-3180 120 railcars coupled in 20 EMU-6 trains. Made by ADtranz-Siemens-Hellenic Shipyards. Nine railcars were destroyed by terrorists at Kifissia station on 2009-03-02. 20070523-NERATZIOTISA.jpg
T 3201-3240

Other rolling stock

Freight railcar 41

In 1904 two electric locomotives, numbered 20 and 21, were bought from Thomson-Houston.

In 1911 the railway bought from Goossens two steeple-cab electric locomotives (numbered 31 and 32) and a self-propelled electric freight railcar (41), capable of operating from third line or overhead line. These could operate over the Piraeus Harbour tramway, the Piraeus-Perama light railway as well as on the mainline to Thision and Omonoia. Freight railcar 41 was used initially to carry bags of transcontinental mail unloaded from passenger liners in Piraeus. Locomotive 32 is still in use, with the overhead collector removed.

In addition the railway owns a road-rail Unimog car and a ballast tamper.

During 1981-1984 ISAP leased six four-car, bright yellow trains of narrow loading gauge (type G-I or Gisela) form East Berlin's metro.

Piraeus rolling stock works

The Royal Saloon (1888)

Athens & Piraeus Railway, in common with most railways of the steam era, had its own rolling stock heavy maintenance works, located next to Piraeus station. In 1926 this became property of E.I.S. In addition to maintenance, repair and rebuilding, Piraeus works constructed a significant number of railway cars, mostly between 1880 and 1960. The most significant projects were the construction of 12 electric rail cars in 1923 and the rebuilding of rolling stock destroyed by allied bombing in 1944.[6] Another noteworthy project was the construction of a small number of electric trams, based on a Dick Kerr model (1939).

An excellent example of the technical skill available at Piraeus works is the Royal Saloon (1888), a present to King George I of Greece. This luxurious vehicle was much admired and it was exhibited at the 1888 "Olympia Fair" (First Athens International Exhibition) held in Zappeion. The Royal Saloon survives to date, and is exhibited in the Railway Museum of Athens.

Proposed northern extension

An extension to the north is under consideration. If approved, it shall be built in two phases, reaching Nea Erithrea by 2015 and Agios Stefanos by 2018. The proposed new stations are:

  • Kifissia (current terminal). A new underground station shall be built, as the line shall sink and enter a tunnel.
  • Tatoiou
  • Nea Erithrea
  • Kastri
  • Ethniki Odos Athinon-Lamias
  • Anixi (Anoixi)
  • Agios Stefanos


See also


  1. ^ S.A.P./E.I.S. also constructed and operated the Piraeus Harbour Tramway (1908-1960) and the Piraeus-Perama light railway (1936-1977). These were also standard gauge and were used by freight and service S.A.P./E.I.S. trains.
  2. ^ Law 352 (Gazette Vol A, issue 147, 16 June 1976)
  3. ^ I. Zartaloudis, D. Karatolos, D. Koutelidis, G. Nathenas, S. Fasoulas, A. Filippoupolitis, A. (1997) (in Greek). Οι Ελληνικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι (Hellenic Railways). Μίλητος (Militos). pp. 29. ISBN 960-8460-07-7.  
  4. ^ G. Nathenas, A. Kourbelis, T. Vlastos, S. Kourouzidis, V. Katsareas, P. Karamanis, A. Klonos, N. Kokkinos (2007) (in greek). Από τα Παμφορεία στο Μετρό. 2. Athens: Μίλητος (Militos). pp. 616. ISBN 978-960-8460-91-1.  
  5. ^ "ISAP vehicles - general information". Retrieved 2009-10-08.  
  6. ^ 130 Χρόνια Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι Αθηνών-Πειραιώς Α.Ε. (130 years of Athens-Piraeus electric railways). ISAP. 1999-2005. pp. 59,132,133. ISBN 960-86477-0-3.  

Further reading

  • 130 Χρόνια Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι Αθηνών-Πειραιώς Α.Ε. (130 years of Athens-Piraeus electric railways). ISAP. 1999-2005. ISBN 960-86477-0-3.  
  • G. Nathenas, A. Kourbelis, T. Vlastos, S. Kourouzidis, V. Katsareas, P. Karamanis, A. Klonos, N. Kokkinos (2007) (in greek). Από τα Παμφορεία στο Μετρό. 2. Athens: Μίλητος (Militos). ISBN 978-960-8460-91-1.  
  • I. Zartaloudis, D. Karatolos, D. Koutelidis, G. Nathenas, S. Fasoulas, A. Filippoupolitis, A. (1997) (in Greek). Οι Ελληνικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι (Hellenic Railways). Μίλητος (Militos). pp. 22–37. ISBN 960-8460-07-7.  
  • Ελληνικοί Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι 1869-1969 (Hellenic Electric Railways 1869-1969) (2nd ed.). Athens, Greece: Hellenic Electric Railways. 1970 (2005). ISBN 960-86477-1-1.  


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