Ask any Greek - there are scores of reasons to avoid the country's trains. The system is old and crumbling, with creaky cars and a patchy rail network that skips some towns altogether.
But the recession has breathed new life into the system, as Greeks leave their cars at home. According to Reuters, rising fuel costs and high road taxes have caused many Greeks to choose trains as a cheaper alternative to car travel. As Reuters writes:
Rail traffic between Greece's two biggest cities - Athens and Thessaloniki - surged by 33 percent in the first 11 months of 2012, even if the night train plying that route is jokingly called "Karvouniaris" (coal-fired) to suggest it is slow and noisy enough to be a steam engine from a bygone era.
"Life as we knew it has changed. There's no money for luxuries like a car when you don't even know if you'll be able to pay your rent for the month," said Vanesa Varveri, a 55-year-old accountant from Athens who began using the train to visit her parents near the port city of Patras when she lost her job.
Scenes from the newly popular system, via Reuters.