If I ran this country …

the trains would run on time!

I got in from Thessaloniki this sunny Monday morning and decided I would take the Metro into town from the airport rather than a taxi. It was a gorgeous day, I didn’t need to be anywhere at any particular time and I didn’t feel like shelling out 38 euros for the trip home by taxi.

So I got to the platform about 9.30 a.m. The flight back had been very smooth — just 35 minutes, no delays, no hassles. I was a bit surprised to see the next train out of the Athens airport to the city centre was at 10 a.m. and that they ran only at 30 minute intervals. Seems a bit poor given the number of tourists still pouring into the city for holidays. The platform began to fill up with travellers around 9.45 a.m.  At 9.55 a.m. I got out of my seat to wait for the train. I look up at the display …  and suddenly it’s saying the next train is at 10:30 a.m.

Wait, what? Where’s the 10 a.m. train? It’s vanished like it was Hogwarth’s Express. No announcement, no explanation. I look around for someone to ask — nobody. Like the other travellers I stay glued to where I am because, well, what choice do I have? Having decided to throw in my lot with Greek public transport I have none.

A train arrived at around 10:10 a.m. Now, was this the 10 a.m. train, late? Or was it the early 10:30 a.m. train? Given it only stuck around for a couple of minutes before taking off, I am assuming it was the late 10 a.m. train.

Guys, would it really be so hard to make an announcement saying it’s running a little late instead of leaving us in uncertainty about whether a train will ever arrive? Maybe you could put more trains on? In the end, I spent more time on the platform in Athens waiting for the Metro train into town — 40 minutes — than I did in travelling from Thessaloniki, a city 300 kilometers to the north.



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