From Athens to Thessaloniki

For the research part of the master program I started from a general research  for several means of transport which I posted previously, such as aircraft, bus, car, bicycle and cruise ship, in order to understand the purpose of their physical existence and what are the services to the humanity.My main concern is the view to the outside such as landscape, housing, industrial,sky, sea, etc.Comparing the various aspects of views through different transport means with the trains I found out that there are all different according to the physicality of the transport and the size of the windows.Some have big differences and some small.But always differ.


After that general research I focused on trains, analyzing them in the field of flexibility, relationship between public and private, context, people and stories. In order to make my research more concrete and connect it with my design I focused on the Greek trains of OSE (Ο.Σ.Ε) company, specifically the route from Athens to Thessaloniki.In this post I am displaying facts, statistics, sketches, images and thoughts of my research so far.

A brief information for the company according to their web site:

OSE AE 3.820 employees
The mission:
to render the railway the main means for the transfer of passengers and of transport of goods,
to maximize the social-economic effectiveness of the disposed resources for the supply of high quality services
to have an harmonious cooperation with the carriers of the economic, enterprising and social life of the country.
From Athens to Thessaloniki:
515 km
5,5 hours
36,3 euro cost for a round trip
In a wagon of  : 2.9 m height, 19 m width, 2.7 m interior width.
Persons with special needs, Special prices, baggage, Accompanied vehicles and sleeping cars.
singles,students,soldiers between 18 to 35 years old-70%
elder people 70+ that can not drive a car- 20 %
Other – 10%
So my target group is basically young people between 18 to 30 years old.
The basic program in the intercity train of OSE is:
• The first and second class of seating wagons
• A bar
• Toilets and some times
• Closed cabins in a separate wagon (not sleeping).
The route:
Approx. 5,5 h
The Stops:

This train is not an ordinary train, it is designed to travel you through the beautiful landscape of central and middle Greece within a nice and comfortable environment.

The various landscape during the trip:

During the stops:

Analysis of the route:

Improvement of the current traveling situation with re designing the route and make the experience of the travel  more interesting and the connection with the landscape stronger.

My intervention:

Slowing down the train or even stop during interesting parts like monuments, rivers, seasides, mountains etc.  Speeding it up when in industrial areas or residencial areas.
Giving the option to the passengers to try local delicacies when the train stops and a local seller comes in. That could give not only a visual experience of the trip but also material, giving also a cultural aspect.

General Plan and Technical Drawings



Walking in the ground floor from the front entrance you find a space for a bicycle and the drivers cabin with the engine. Walking down a few steps is the bar area with the seating facing inside. Follows the’ working space’ an area that someone could have some personal time. Walk up a few steps and there is the back exit and the toilets.Upstairs you are facing the seating area in front with two by two slightly rotated seats and on your right the enclosed cabin. Finally walking in front there is the small room with the telescope and the front lounge with a panoramic view.

Some details

The furniture are designed in a way to provide storage spaces beneath and around leaving the upper parts of the train free for big openings.


The bar is by the entrance to make it convenient for the local sellers to walk in and sell their products.


A telescopic ladder on the upper floor by the emergency exit assures safe escape in case of emergency.

Colors and interior feeling

Ground floor

First floor

Front lounge

General view outside

This train is characterising Greece not only because it is based on the specific route from Athens to Thessaloniki by focusing on the interesting parts of that route, for example by slowing down during beautiful landscapes or speeding up during industrial areas, but also  because its layout design. More specifically, Greek people love luxury and to be lead and easy.  They love good food and wine. The space provides a feeling of  luxury and comfort ability because of the materials and colours. Also the local sellers that have access in the train during the trip can provide the oportunity of tasting local delicatessen. Furthermore, the train used to be a meeting place back in time, a symbol, values which are lost nowadays. My design is providing a tempting environment for sociability and pleasure.
Finally the materials are local. For example the wood that is used is Greek walnut that grows in the north part of Greece and solid lacquared wood like beech is used a lot for furniture. Calcitic marble from Livadia is used for some finishes.  Colours for the structure can be provided from the ER-LAC company that is specialised on that sector. Kiolidis company is specialised in coach  construction. Glass configuration which assure good panoramic view and interior illumination is made from laminated safety glass from Greek companies in collaboration with Italians like
This train in comparison with other trains in Europe is a train and a train route that is designed for a specific journey based on the landscape and the needs of the users. Using lockal industries for its production.


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