Thessaloniki Port Authority SA (ThPA) inaugurated a new regular service for freight trains between Thessaloniki and Niš in southeastern Serbia, it said on Thursday.
In a statement, it said that ThPA ran the first block train on Wednesdsay, transporting containers for leading French manufacturer CMA CGM SA. The single-commodity train left Thessaloniki's Containers Terminal in the morning (August 17) and arrived at the terminal station Mbox in Niš 16 hours later the same day. Collaborating on the schedule, besides ThPA, were the railway companies of Greece (Hellenic Train SA), North Macedonia (MZ Transport AD), Serbia (Kombinovani Prevoz DOO), and another nine private and public entities.
ThPA Executive Chairman of the BoD & Managing Director Athanasios Liagkos said that the Port Authority is implementing its development and investment strategy by upgrading facilities while improving the linkage of the port of Thessaloniki with neighboring countries. "ThPA is transforming into a port of international importance, able to receive directly ships of main lines connecting Southeast, Central, and East Europe and the Balkans with the rest of the world, offering added value and development opportunities to all our partners."
As of September 2022, the port authority said in its statement, trains will depart from Thessaloniki and Niš every week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, arriving at their destinations the same day. ThPA said it is prepared to increase the frequency of its schedules, "serving the demands of its parnters, in dynamically developing Serbia."
(Niš, an industrial and historic city, is on the Nišava River. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, "The city is important for its command of the Morava-Vardar and Nišava river corridors, the two principal routes from central Europe to the Aegean. The main rail line from Belgrade and the north divides at Niš for Thessaloníki, Greece, and Sofia, Bulgaria.")