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1/2 hr. train connection in Bologna...is this enough time?

1/2 hr. train connection in Bologna...is this enough time?

Old Mar 15th, 2005, 03:50 AM
  #1  
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1/2 hr. train connection in Bologna...is this enough time?

I will be traveling by train from Venice - Pescara. I am inexperienced with train travel so I'm asking for your advice. On trenitalia I am looking at Ven-Bologna then Bologna-Pescara, 6:32-8:18/8:56-12:05 (AM travel). Is this enough time for me to get off the train and board the other not knowing anything about the station? I understand it is one of the larger train stations. What is my first step when I get off the train? Thank you, I appreciate your help. I'll feel better knowing what to expect.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 05:00 AM
  #2  
RJD
 
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It is probably enough time. I have made 5 minute connections; admittedly that was in Germany but the Italian trains are generally timely enough. Your first action is to ascertain the departure track for your next train. That can be found on the boards at the head of the station.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 05:18 AM
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Your first step when getting off the train is going to one of the many POSTED schedule charts..they will be on every platform, at the bottom of stairways from the platforms, etc.

They are usually in two different colors...one for departures and one for arrivals. I am sure if someone reads my response they will tell you which color is for which..they are also labeled, in Italian, Departures and Arrivals.

KNOW the time your train is supposed to leave Bologna for Pescara (and knowing the train NUMBER sometimes helps too)...look for the entries under each hour of the day heading..in your case under the 08:00 heading...

read DOWN until you get to the departure at 0856 for your train to Pescara...it will be listed along with the platform number that it is scheduled to leave from.

Doing it this way precludes your having to go all the way into the main station to look at the large train board which lists all the departures.

Assuming the trains are relatively on time (forget that Mussolini stuff....they pretty much do run on time these days) you should have MORE THAN enough time to make this connection.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 05:27 AM
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You should have enough time to catch the train and have at least a cup of coffee. As well as the posters listing departures ("partenze"), there are also monitor screens which will list departures; remember to look for the train leaving at 0856 rather than a train going to Pescara because it probably continues beyond Pescara so will probably be shown as a train to Bari or Lecce. If you did miss this train, the next train to Pescara seems to be the Intercity which gets there at 1320.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Thank you so much for your replies RJD, Intrepid1 and GeoffHamer. So when I get off the train there will be schedule boards within close range. It is helpful to know not to look for Pescara but to look for the time, I'm sure I would have been looking for the city too.
You all seem to think within this train station I would be able to make it from one train to the next. I would need to be on this earlier train to make it in time to pick up a rental car before they close.
Thank you again. I welcome more replies to reassure me about the Bologna station which I understand to be rather large.
Other option is to leave Venice the afternoon before just to be on the safe side...
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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I wouldn't worry about it. You will be fine. Even if the station is large (I've never been there myself) the trains all arrive/depart in the same general area. On top of the many train signs announcing departure/arrival trains, in my experiences there have also been workers in the station who could help you if you have any questions.

Train travel often confuses first-timers more than it needs to. I've been there myself. I spent so much energy during my first trip to Italy trying to figure out the train system but I found it to be surprisingly easy to figure out once I actually got there.

Good luck!
Tracy
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Unlike Venezia SL from which you will depart where the trains arrive in one directions and reverse direction to leave, I believe Bologna is a station where the trains drive straight through. Therefore, when you step off the train onto the platform, you will have to go down stairs to an underground passage the connects to all the other platforms, the station building, and the station exits.

Intrepid's instructions are great--if you check the posted schedules and signs at each platform stairway, you should be able to find your departing platform without actually going all the way to the station building itself.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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This is ALWAYS the big "baddie" for people who have never done the rail thing in Europe..once you've made this ONE change and used those posters you will feel like a pro, believe me.

Back to the departure poster....when you get to 08:56 the train listing will usually include ALL of the stations the train is going to call at beyond Bologna..or at least the major ones.

Repeat this to yourself three times: "I CAN do this and it is easy."
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:42 AM
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I don't remember which is white and which is yellow, but the schedules on the platforms are entitled ARRIVI and PARTENZE.

You want to look at the one entitled PARTENZE.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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ira
 
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Hi zizi,

Here is a link to the Bologna station.

It gives a map and other info.

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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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KT
 
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The partenze poster is yellow. But you should double-check at the electronic board, because things do change sometimes.

Let me echo the others -- this isn't difficult and 1/2 hour should be fine.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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Ira..where is the link?????
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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I've just checked in the Thomas Cook European Timetable. The 0856 from Bologna terminates at Lecce, so that is what to look for on indicators.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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Another Italian word that will be helpful to know: BINARIO which is the word for "track." It may be abbreviated as BIN. or BI.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Wow-Thank you everyone!
ellenem got me a little nervous about going downstairs but I will use Intrepid's suggestion of repeating "I CAN do this and it is easy" three times.
So, if I look up as soon as I hop off this train the boards will be in plain view, I will find my connection by the time 8:56, not Pescara, and head downstairs to find the platform. If I have trouble there will be a worker within sight to help me and GeoffHamer says I will have time for a cup of coffee too!
I do feel better. Thanks again, I think I will spend the last night in Venice and not go to Bologna the day before. Now I will see if I can find that link to the Bologna train station.

I CAN do this and it is easy
I CAN do this AND it is EASY
I CAN DO THIS AND IT IS EASY!
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:58 PM
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zizi, LOL, yes you will be able to do this! I understand your worry before you get there, but honest it will all work out.

And as Intrepid said the word "Binario" or the abbreviation will mean the track number.

Just one thing. Not to cause you confusion but about ten minutes or more before the train arrives check the board
as sometimes the track "Binario" changes. It happened to me the last time at the Florence train station.

And don't forget, the employees at the train station are use to tourist.

You will be fine. And yes you can do this! Honest! Wishing you a fun trip.
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 12:24 AM
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ONE last piece of advice: set your alarm clock and ENJOY your trip!
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 03:19 AM
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Thanks for the vote of confidence!

I didn't know the word for track was BINARIO - thank you.

I have other questions if you don't mind.
I will be arriving in Rome at 9:40 and plan to take the shuttle to Termini and train to Florence. Do you usually purchase these tickets in advance (before leaving US)? If so, would you go with the 12:30 time , or earlier or later.

If I purchase the ticket when I arrive at the station does that mean you usually can get on the next train to Florence or is it possible you would wait for hours?

I have been to Italy several times but I usually arrive in Rome get a rental car or have a family member meet me and head straight for the Abruzzo region.

This is my first solo trip to Italy. My first trip by train. I'm planning 4 days in Florence with side trips. Train to Venice for 4 days. These are both direct so no worries about connecting. Then I am off to Abruzzo for 3 weeks to soak in every precious moment I can with my family that I don't see nearly enough !!!

I am in NO way fluent in Italian so all the pointers help.

Thanks again in advance - What do you think about advance purchase of the train ticket from Rome???
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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zizi,

Sorry if I scared you with the stairs. Don't worry--everyone has to deal with the stairs unless your train stops at the platform next to the station. It is not confusing really, but I wanted to mention it so you would be prepared.

In October we landed in Rome and planned like you to head straight to Florence. I had checked and made printouts of the train departures on trenitalia.com, but had not booked anything in case our plane was late.

We landed at 7:30AM. By 8:30AM we were standing at the FCO train ticket booth buying our tickets. Now we knew for sure which ES we could connect with in Rome. I handed the printouts with our chosen train circled to the ticketseller, even including our choice for our return trip a few days later. We were on the Leonardo Express a few minutes later and made 9:30AM ES to Florence. There are virtually hourly departures, so you shouldn't have a problem buying one seat.

The best advice I can give you for making this connection: the arrival track for the Leonardo Express at Roma Termini is parallel to the other tracks but a long distance away. It's as if the Express is parked at the other end of the tracks from the regular trains. Anyway, when you get off the train, walk straight, following paralleling the tracks toward the center of the station. Soon you will see a ramp going down. This ramp will take you down a level where a corridor to the right connects to all the other tracks. Using this corridor, you can avoid the long walk to the main part of the station and the head of the track. There are signs and schedules in the corridor to help you find your platform. Once on the ES platform, there are signs that show the positions of the train cars (carrozze)--just check your ticket and you can position yourself correctly.
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 04:30 PM
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Thank you so much ellenem. I'm glad you informed me about the downstairs!

Your information from the airport is wonderful. It sounds like you were out of the airport in no time. Probably a little more crowded by the time I get there.

It doesn't look like I have to purchase in advance.

Your instructions are definitely going with me! Thank you again. You have eased my mind for sure.

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