JULY 27 saw the entry into revenue service of the first of 15 Class 621 two-car DMUs being delivered to Greek railway operator OSE.

Ordered in 1997 from a consortium of Hellenic Shipyards and Bombardier, the 125 km/h sets were originally intended to be delivered in time for the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. Delayed by financial problems at Hellenic Shipyards and a subsequent change of ownership, the final deliveries are now expected by May 2007.

Similar to the Class 620 DMUs built in 1989-90, the new units are powered by three MAN-D2842ME engines of 273 kW driving through Voith hydraulic transmissions. In place of the fourth engine fitted to the earlier sets is a 190 kW generator set for the roof-mounted air-conditioning equipment. Interior fittings have been supplied by Temoinsa. Each unit has seats for 140 passengers, a wheelchair space and room for 116 standing passengers.

The first three sets entered service on the suburban line from Athens to Chalkida. Further units will operate the rehabilitated line from Thessaloniki to Florina, which is due to reopen in September, and others are expected to work the Larissa - Volos branch. n