Trains always fascinated me and many others I suppose. Perhaps it’s because we had no trains where I grew up, so any time we happened to come across one travelling alongside us in the highway, I would be ecstatic. Perhaps it’s because they still have their kind of romance. Perhaps it’s because they have starred in many stories in books and films. So, when I heard that somewhere in Thessaloniki there is a train cemetery, one thing was for sure: I had to go and see it. After a long research I went there to shoot my new picture for the unseen Thessaloniki series, which I have been working on for the past few months.
The train cemetery has been in N. Ionia, Thessaloniki for at least 30 years now. Thousands of abandoned train wagons lie still like ghosts, on ten abandoned train tracks. It is considered the biggest train cemetery in Greece and it is said that wagons started being left there between 1960-70. Up to this day this is where wagons go when they can no longer be used. Somewhere among them are even some antique wagons from 1895 that used to travel between Thessaloniki-Instabul (JSC– JonctionSalonique-Constantinople) and even vehicles that were taken as trophies by the Germans during WWII. Sadly, no one cared to highlight all this heritage somehow. On the contrary, the trains were left unguarded and those that survived the years and the raging nature, were taken apart piece by piece to be sold illegally as scrap. Recently the greek railway company stated that they are going to sell all this material that has been abandoned, not only in Thessaloniki but all over Greece. However the trains are still where they were once left, under the mercy of time, the weather and people.