Hellenic Train, Italian FS Group’s passenger and freight subsidiary in Greece, on Tuesday issued an urgent announcement denying press reports claiming a decision to sell-off the former has been reached.

The reports claim that the Tempi rail disaster in late February 2023 and the continuing fall-out from the deadly train collision – which claimed 57 lives – along with slumping revenues are the reasons for the purported de-investment.

Nevertheless, in an announcement, Hellenic Train said the company will continue to operate “in the service of passengers, fulfilling its commitment for an improvement of Greece’s rail system.”

The fully private rail carrier was named Hellenic Train from the previous state-run Trainose after the latter was purchased by state-controlled Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane in 2017 for a less than spectacular price of 45 million euros.

The sell-off was engineered and ratified by the then SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government in order to meet commitments stemming from the third memorandum bailout signed in 2015 and revised in 2016. The two coalition parties had assumed the reins of power in 2015 on a rabidly anti-bailout and anti-privatization platform.

A 15-year contract signed between the Greek state and the newly privatized carrier the same year to subsidize certain low-traffic destinations, billed as worth 500 million euros and replete with commitments by the Italian side for investment in the sector, is now mostly “on ice”.

The company is also demanding arrears it said it’s owed by the Greek state, with no resolution in the dispute forthcoming.