Athens–Piraeus Electric Railways

The Athens–Piraeus Electric Railways (Greek: Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι Αθηνών Πειραιώς, romanizedIlektrikoi Sidirodromoi Athinon Peiraios, ΗΣΑΠ), commonly abbreviated as ISAP, was a company which operated the Piraeus - Kifissia line from 1 January 1976 to 17 June 2011.[1] Piraeus - Kifissia line was the oldest urban rapid transit system of Athens metropolitan area. The line opened in 1869 as a suburban railway line connecting Athens with its port of Piraeus and it was gradually converted to full rapid transit operations, making it one of the oldest metro lines in the world. The line which ISAP S.A. operated evolved from the older Athens & Piraeus Railway and Lavrion Square-Strofyli railway.

Athens–Piraeus Electric Railways
Native name
Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι Αθηνών Πειραιώς
Ilektrikoi Sidirodromoi Athinon Peiraios
Company typeAnonymi Etaireia (SA)
Founded1 January 1976; 48 years ago (1976-01-01) in Athens, Greece
DefunctJune 17, 2011 (2011-06-17)
Athinas 67
105 52 Athens
Area served
Greater Athens
OwnerAthens Urban Transport Organisation (100%)
Number of employees
1003 (2011) (defunct)

In June 2011 ISAP S.A. was absorbed by a new transport company, STASY.



Athens and Piraeus Railway Company

The old lever frame and track diagram of Omonoia station, now exhibited at the Electric Railways Museum.
A 1925 season ticket of SAP

The line from Piraeus to Thision was inaugurated on 27 February 1869 as a steam train connecting Athens and its port, Piraeus, and was operated by Athens & Piraeus Railway Co (Greek: Σιδηρόδρομος Αθηνών-Πειραιώς or Greek: Σ.Α.Π. Α.Ε.) private company. The project was considered important, so Queen Olga and the Prime Minister Thrasyvoulos Zaimis attended the inauguration ceremony. There were 8 trains 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 600 V DC, third rail, top contact system by Thomson Houston.

Hellenic Electric Railways Company

Share of the Hellenic Electric Railways Company Ltd., issued 14. April 1926

In 1926 the SAP S.A. was bought by the Power and Traction Finance Ltd and renamed Ellinikoi Ilektrikoi Sidirodromoi (E.I.S., Greek: Ελληνικοί Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρόμοι or Greek: Ε.Η.Σ., translated as Hellenic Electric Railways).[2] 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) metre gauge 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.

Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways


In 1976 E.I.S. was nationalized and renamed Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways S.A. (I.S.A.P).[3]

A merger of ISAP with Athens Metro was dictated by Law 2668 in 1998,[4] however it was postponed indefinitely and the required Presidential Decree was never issued. In January 2011 the Greek Government announced their plans to merge ISAP with Attiko Metro Etaireia Leitourgias S.A. (AMEL), the company which operates Athens Metro lines 2,3, and with Athens Tram S.A. in a single new company.[5]

In March 2011, the Greek Government passed Law 3920[6] to allow ISAP and Athens Tram to be absorbed by Attiko Metro Operations Company (AMEL). The new company created from the mergers is named STASY (Greek: ΣΤΑΣΥ Α.Ε.) and is a subsidiary of OASA S.A. The merger was officially announced on 10 June 2011.[7]

STASY is based at the former ISAP head offices, near Omonoia Square in Athens. Kostas Vassiliadis, a former chief engineer (1976-1991) and later CEO of ISAP between 1997 and 2000 became Chairman and CEO of the merged company until the end of 2012.

Network and stations

Southbound ISAP train enters Neratziotissa station
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Length25.657 km (15.943 mi)
Route map

Piraeus depot
Faliro depot
Neon Faliro  
Thision depot
Omonoia depot
Attiki depot
Agios Nikolaos
Kato Patisia
Agios Eleftherios
Ano Patisia
Nea Ionia
(Neon Iraklion)
Irini depot



ISAP's line connected 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 750 V DC, third rail, top contact system, also used by Athens Metro Lines 2 and 3. The two lines (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. 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 Lavrion Square-Strofyli railway through Patissia, the suburbs of Nea Ionia, Irakleio, Marousi and terminates at Kifissia. At Neratziotissa passengers can change to the Athens Suburban Railway for Athens International Airport.


Station km Notes
Piraeus 00.000 next to the port, is the southernmost station of ISAP. The Electric Railways Museum of Piraeus, a small museum of urban transport (SAP, EIS, ISAP and former tram lines) is located in the station, at the former Post Office. A train depot and rolling stock repair facilities are located next to the station. Part of the station and most adjacent engine sheds and works were destroyed on 11 January 1944 by Allied bombing during World War II.
Faliro 02.110 near Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex (Peace and Friendship Stadium and Karaiskákis Stadium) and close to a terminal of Athens Tram S.E.F. (Σ.E.Φ.) The station includes a rolling stock depot
Moschato 03.980
Kallithea 05.560
Tavros 06.140 with a train reversing siding
Petralona 07.015
Thiseio 08.580 original terminus of the line when it opened in 1869. Next to the passenger station there is a train depot and the permanent way maintenance department, with some specialized departmental rolling stock
Monastiraki 09.070 passenger interchange with Athens Metro Line 3
Omonoia 09.985 passenger interchange with Athens Metro Line 2
Victoria 11.000
Attiki 12.245 passenger interchange with Athens Metro Line 2. At this station there is also a small depot and the railway connection with the Athens Metro Line 2
Agios Nikolaos 13.160
Kato Patisia 13.726
Agios Eleftherios 14.448
Ano Patisia 15.262 with a train reversing siding
Perissos 16.554
Pefkakia 17.230
Nea Ionia 17.918 with a train reversing siding
Irakleio 19.246 with a train reversing siding
Eirini 20.846 near the Athens Olympic Stadium. The signalling and control center for the ISAP line and a train washing facility are located next to the station
Neratziotissa 21.824 passenger interchange with the Athens Suburban Railway. Near the Mall Athens
Maroussi 23.453
KAT 24.6.31 near the KAT Hospital
Kifissia 25.657 the northernmost terminus

Proposed northern extension


An extension to the north was under consideration that would have been built in two phases, reaching Nea Erithrea by the end of the first phase and Agios Stefanos by the end of the second phase. Due to lack of funding, this extension was canceled in 2011.

Rolling stock


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 on iron or steel frames. Currently[when?] 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.  
3rd 1914 9 railcars made by Baume et Marpent/Desouches David & Cie. Withdrawn in 1985.
4th 1923 12 railcars of the Baume et 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:[8]

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 in 2003-2004.  
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 in 2003-2004.  
DTL 715-718
DT 815-819

Third generation EMUs


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 (2000-2004) 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, originally delivered as 4-car sets (M-M-M-M), and then trailers added to lengthen the trains to EMU-5 sets.  
T 201-215
DT 301-315
9th 1983–1985 DM-M+M-DM DM 1101–1125 50 railcars made of aluminium LEW (type GIII) in EMU-4 sets later rearranged in EMU-6 (DM-M+M-DM+M-DM). In limited use after 1999 and all withdrawn until 2004.  
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.[9]  
T 3201-3240

Other rolling stock

Freight railcar 41

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

In the early 1980s consideration was given to the purchase of 60 secondhand cars of London Underground R Stock, built between 1938 and 1959, but ultimately no deal was made and new carriages were purchased instead.[10]


See also



  1. ^ Gklavas, Athanasios (22 May 2022). "Athens–Piraeus Electric Railways (ISAP)". Greek Railway Tickets (in Greek). Archived from the original on 7 November 2022. Retrieved 7 November 2022.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Law 352 (Gazette Vol A, issue 147, 16 June 1976)
  4. ^ Law 2669/1988, Government Gazette Issue A 283/1998-12-18, Part 7, paragraphs 3 and 4.
  5. ^ «Πράσινο» στο νομοσχέδιο για τις αστικές συγκοινωνίες Archived 2011-01-16 at the Wayback Machine Naftemporiki Newspaper, 2011-01-12.
  6. ^ Law 3920, Government Gazette issue A-33, 2011-03-03.
  7. ^ Ministerial Decision 28737/2637, Government Gazette issue B-1454, 2011-06-17
  8. ^ Nathenas et al. 2007, p. 616.
  9. ^ "Εμπρησμός σε βαγόνια του ΗΣΑΠ". HMERHSIA (IMERISIA) newspaper. 2009-03-03.
  10. ^ Connor, Piers (1983). The 'R' Stock Story. Hemel Hempstead: London Underground Railway Society. p. 60. ISBN 0-9508793-0-4.
  • 130 Χρόνια Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι Αθηνών-Πειραιώς Α.Ε. (130 years of Athens-Piraeus electric railways). ISAP. 1999–2005. ISBN 960-86477-0-3.
  • Durrant, A. E. (1972) [1966]. The Steam Locomotives of Eastern Europe. Newton Abbot, Devon, UK: David and Charles. ISBN 0-7153-4077-8.
  • Nathenas, G.; Kourbelis, A.; Vlastos, T.; Kourouzidis, S.; Katsareas, V.; Karamanis, P.; Klonos, A.; Kokkinos, N. (2007). Από τα Παμφορεία στο Μετρό (in Greek). Vol. 2. Athens: Μίλητος (Militos). ISBN 978-960-8460-91-1.
  • Zartaloudis, I.; Karatolos, D.; Koutelidis, D.; Nathenas, G.; Fasoulas, S.; Filippoupolitis, A. (1997). Οι Ελληνικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι (Hellenic Railways) (in Greek). Μίλητος (Militos). pp. 22–37. ISBN 960-8460-07-7.

Further reading

  • Ελληνικοί Ηλεκτρικοί Σιδηρόδρομοι 1869-1969 (Hellenic Electric Railways 1869-1969) (2nd ed.). Athens, Greece: Hellenic Electric Railways. 2005 [1970]. ISBN 960-86477-1-1.

37°58′59″N 23°43′39″E / 37.98310°N 23.72755°E / 37.98310; 23.72755