Greek rack railway

This item appears on page 57 of the February 2020 issue.

The Odontotos rack railway, connecting the seaside town of Diakopto to the mountain village of Kalavryta in Greece’s northern Peloponnese, is a rare example of a rack-and-pinion railway, whose engines complete steep climbs by using a gear and a track with teeth. It also operates with one of the smallest gauges in the world, only 75cm (about 2½ feet).

On the 22-kilometer route, with a maximum gradient of 17.5%, the train climbs 750 meters in a little more than an hour, going through tunnels and passing scenic mountains and waterfalls.

The Odontotos runs three times daily, at 9:05 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:05 p.m, with 12:49 and 3:30 p.m. runs added on weekends. A round-trip ticket costs €19 (near $21) and a one-way, €9.50. Many take the train to the top and then hike back to Diakopto, about a 4-hour walk.

For info, visit or call +30 2691 043206.