Are Italian/French trains reliable?

Mar 3rd, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Are Italian/French trains reliable?

I'm taking a train from Nice to Genova via Rail Europe at 6pm. Then, from Genova to Cinque Terre(Vernazza) via Italia Rail at 10pm.

Can I rely on these trains?

Thanks for your experience!

- Alex
zzalexzz is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 01:54 PM
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I have found the French trains to be very reliable, especially the TGV's. I think most of my trains in Italy were late. I don't have much faith in the trains in Italy.
Randy is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 02:23 PM
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ZZ..trained around Italy last July including stops in Cinque Terre / Florence / Rome and Venice. No issues with trains they arrived on time during high season.
KenP is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 02:25 PM
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Yes. Very.
LucieV is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 02:40 PM
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I had varying degrees of reliability with Italian trains, including the leg (although in reverse) from the CT to Genoa. This was for 6 weeks, going all over the country, some the "high speed, few stops" and some the "IC" local trains, in July and August. Maybe I just had worse luck than most, but I learned to be wary of the last train of the day, after I had one cancelled. I can't remember many times when the trains in Italy ever left promptly when they were supposed to- I eventually was just happy if they LEFT! On the other hand, it was much easier to figure it out in the stations themselves than on the Trenitalia website, and if one didn't work there was almost always at least one other way to get where you wanted to go: with the caveat that it might include a wait. So I would suggest that, just in case, you have a "plan B" if that 10 pm train doesn't work. Do you have an expensive reservation awaiting you in Vernazza that night?
sglass is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 03:34 AM
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I have used trains within Italy since the 70s.

I have been off trains when there are random strikes, and I have experience a higher degree of late trains in Italy than in other European countries like Germany where the system really runs well.

I think it is a crapshoot though they are generally ok.
kfusto is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 03:57 AM
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Hi zz.

A. RailEurope is a marketing agency. They don't run trains. The train from Nice to Genova is a SNCF (French national rail) to the border and then a Trenitalia (Italian national rail) to Genoa.

B. shows that the 18:05 from Nice to Genoa is an EC train. The 22:11 to Vernazza is an R train.

You have about a 1 hr connection time.

It is highly likely that you will arrive in Genoa in time to make the train to Vernazza.

Whether the train to Vernazza leaves on time, and how long it takes to get there is anyone's guess.

There is also a 21:49 IC to Monterosso connecting with the 23:21 R train to Vernazza. This will get you there 0:40 hr earlier, maybe.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 04:16 AM
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I agree about having a backup plan, just in case, although it is unlikely that you will need to put it into play. I took 3 trains in France last fall and two of these were late in arriving at my departure point, by 40 minutes in the first case. (Bordeaux to Perigeaux; Brive to Paris)
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 4th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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Should I buy these tickets with I get to the station?
zzalexzz is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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I can't figure out which train to use to get from Nice France) to Genova (Italy).

The websites are confusing, especially because it appears that there are several different cities or stations called Nice and Genova. What is the Nice Station in the French Rivera?

I want to take the first train out but I just can't figure out how to get this info!!!

Can someone PLEASE tell me which train to take?

I appeciate your help!

zzalexzz is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 01:32 AM
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Hi Alex - Nice main station is called Nice Ville. The main station in Genova is Genova P.P (Piazza Principe).

The best website to use is:

Are you looking for 'the first train out' - or one at 6.p.m ??


Steve_James is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 03:25 AM
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While Italian trains are slightly later than French they are more precise. I love the way they stop with the doors opposite the sign that says door so and so.
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 06:51 AM
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Hi zz,

For Nice to Vernazza, you can buy your tickets at

You will pick up your tickets at any train station or SNCF boutique in France.

You can also have them mailed to you c/o your hotel.

You want to leave from Nice Ville.

You will likely pass through Genoa Piazza Principe.

ira is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 07:00 AM
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The few daily direct Nice-Genoa trains, such as the one leaving around 10am have been branded Riviera Trains and are operated by both the French and Italian railways i believe. they have a Byzantine pricing structure. A crack train it shouldn't be too late.

However if you go the change in Ventimiglia route and take local Italian trains to Genoa it may not be so dependable.

In any case most Genoa-5 Terre tickets are on IC or regional trains that you can use the ticket on any of them practically - a few ICplus trains or Eurostars on the route require reservations. As they run about hourly you don't have to worry about the connection - you will get there.
PalenQ is online now  

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