The Historical Archive started to be compiled in 2019, in order to preserve the history of the Greek railway and the memory of its people. This project involves the Organization’s archives, as well as those of its predecessors.
OSE undertook this project in order to collect, for the first time, the older and mostly obscure files (administrative, technical, architectural, etc.), in order to preserve and utilize its wealth of archive material which document its history.
Till then, various parts of archives from OSE, the S.E.K. and former companies had been kept in the old Railway Museum and, respectively, in the Management’s Library; these were integrated in OSE’s Historical Archive.
The material deemed worthy of preservation is identified in and collected from both active as well as inactive Units and Facilities all over the Greek network.
The Historical Archive has already integrated files originating from:
α) Central Administration and the services of Directorates for Line, Design & Construction, Traction & Rolling Stock, Operation and Personnel,
β) the facilities of Piraeus Depot (MPR) and the S.P.A.P.’s Depot,
γ) the services of the Peloponnese network (Line Sections, Stations).
OSE’s Historical Archive is currently hosted in OSE’s Mansion (Karolou street), in the area of OSE’s inactive Library, which has been restructured for this reason and arranged accordingly, until a more suitable building is created based on special specifications for archives. The organization of another two Historical Archive centers is planned, one in Thessaloniki and another one in Volos.
S.E.K. train services chart, in force as of 1/11/1939
The existing files of OSE’s Historical Archive
Nowadays, OSE’s Historical Archive contains files mainly related to the railway activity of the Line, Traction, Operation and Personnel sectors.
These files originate -in addition to OSE- from the oldest former railway companies in Greece:
- S.P.A.P. (Piraeus-Athens-Peloponnese Railways)
- Ottoman Companies in Thessaloniki (CO, SM and JSC)
- S.Th. (Thessaly Railways)
- G.E.S. (French-Hellenic Railways Company)
- P.D.S. (Piraeus-Demerli-Sinoron)
- S.A. (Attica Railways)
- S.E.K. (Greek State Railways)
They cover the time period 1880-2005. To date, their estimated size amounts to approx. 250 running meters. They consist in series of documents and drawings in various file types, such as:
- administrative files (articles of association, circulars, regulations, Board of Directors Minutes of Meeting),
- personnel files (personnel records, etc.),
- files with line drawings (construction and architectural drawings including the transparencies (originals) for stations and facilities),
- files with drawings, documentation and manuals for rolling stock,
- training manuals,
- photographic material, etc.
Horizontal alignment for the facilities of the Thessaloniki-Constantinople Connecting Railway (JSC) in Thessaloniki and the “Thessaloniki-Polis” Station.
General Plan (View & Plan View) for the original Assopos Bridge (P.D.S. line)
Drawing for the Passenger Building of Kantza Station of Attica Railways (1928)
Parallel to the main preservation project, the Historical Archive also creates the necessary conditions in order to provide free access to researchers and allow them to utilize its material.
Parallel to that and for the first time, the Organization sees to the preservation of obsolete archives, introducing them in the Historical Archive as material deemed to be preserved.
The Railway Library
OSE’s Library closed down in 2006. It was created in order to serve each Administration’s operational needs and then it was reorganised and operated as a general library. However, its most important part has always been the unique specialized railway library, the oldest of its kind in Greece. As part of rearranging the space, it was deemed preferable to reopen only the railway library with the prospect of combining it with the Historical Archive and as a tool used to support archive research.