Train services have resumed in Greece for the first time since a deadly rail disaster three weeks ago, as the country’s centre-right government struggles to regain its footing ahead of a general election.
The February 28 head-on collision, the deadliest in the country’s history, killed 57 people and left dozens injured, with nine still hospitalised.
The deadly incident sparked outrage among Greeks who protested on the streets around the country. Many believe the tragedy could have been avoided, and blamed the government and the national rail service for its outdated and underfunded transport infrastructure.
Athens resident Eli Tosca said she wasn’t afraid to get on the train.
“I feel ready. I was very upset about what happened. I cried a lot but we have to work,” Tosca said on Wednesday as she prepared to board a train in Athens.
Canadian tourist Dax Edgar said he was happy that trains were running again “because the buses are expensive.”
National and suburban train services restarted Wednesday but only along limited sections of the rail network, with additional train and station staff, and compulsory speed reduction points at areas where the potential for a collision is considered higher.
The suburban rail service from Athens to the capital’s international airport was also restored.
Full services will resume on April 11, including railway transportation between Athens and Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki.