Are Italian trains on time?

May 15th, 2011, 08:36 AM
  #1  
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Are Italian trains on time?

We have a little less than 30 minutes in Milano Centrale between Venice and Interlaken. Can we count on the Italian trains to get us to Milan to make our connections?
jlubeck is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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I would never count on an Italian train haha

However, if you have several train options so if the one you are supposed to take gets delayed hours and you can take another one. We were supposed to get on a train out of Milan that ended up being 2 hours late, so we got on another one that was 20 minutes after and got there almost intime.

I would think generally 30 minutes would be enough time though.
lindy27 is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 09:45 AM
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Hi Lindy, Unfortunately there are no really good train options from Milan to Interlaken after the 11:25 train, the only other choice is to take the 7 AM train from Venice to arrive almost 2 hours before the connection, but I'm trying to avoid having to get up at 5 AM on vacation (sorry just lazy I guess).
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May 15th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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When connection times are important to the traveler, the smart traveler arranges a Plan B. Lazy travelers travel at their own risk.

Italian trains are remarkably efficient. I don't use a train on every trip but, in all my years of travel, I have never missed a connection through Centrale, and I'm there every year. That said, I see "delayed" on the boards all the time. So delays happen. Again, when connection times are important to the traveler, the smart traveler arranges a Plan B.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Hi NYC, Good advice. Since there are apparently no good options later, it looks like we will need to take the 7 AM train to ensure we make our connection in Milan.
jlubeck is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 11:00 AM
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I wouldn't mess around with the train connections - I would say 80% of the Italian trains I've taken have been at least 30 minutes delayed
lizziea06 is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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If you don't mind getting in late, try breaking your connections in another way. Venice/Brig (departs Venice 16:20, no train changes) and Brig/Interlaken. Also try Venice/Arth-go and Arth-go/Interlaken. I think it will show more time options.
kybourbon is online now  
May 15th, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Hi Kentucky (I guess that's the Ky ),

Rail Europe does show a 12:25 train on "Cisalpino 34" on the schedule but when you go to "Check Fares", it no longer shows up. I think we want to arrive at a decent hour (4:30 PM) in order to make our way up to our hotel in Wengen, so I think the later trains are not an option
jlubeck is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 09:57 PM
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I wouldn't use RailEurope as they are a reseller, mark up the prices and never list all trains. I looked on the Italian train website, Trenitalia. Trenitalia has not loaded all their summer schedules yet so if you are traveling after June 11, they might not be available yet. You have to keep checking their website as they are always slow to load winter/summer schedules.
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

Germany's rail website is usually good to check schedules for much of Europe. Also the Swiss site for Switzerland.
http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml
http://www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm
kybourbon is online now  
May 16th, 2011, 12:11 PM
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The 7:50 from Venice gives you an hour in Milan. Arriving at 10:25 and departing at 11:28.

I don't see any 5:00 train from Venice to Interlaken. There one at 36 minutes after midnight and the next one at 7:50. There is a 5:15 train from Venice to Milan and a 6:20 and 6:58. There are plenty of connections which will give you enough time to transfer in Milan.
adrienne is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 01:13 PM
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Hi Lindy, Unfortunately there are no really good train options from Milan to Interlaken after the 11:25 train,>

well that may be if you want a direct train since Trenitalia has decided to cut many cross border services but there are hourly or so train to Brig where there is a simple connect to domestic Swiss trains to Spiez where you it seems always have to change for Interlaken. check out these fantastic IMO sites for lots on Italian and Swiss trains (and it does not take much travel on trains, boats, mountain lifts, etc for a Swiss Pass of some type to pay off!) - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com.

30 mins in Milan to change would not be comfy for me as it is a huge station to begin with and though faster Italian trains are just as on time IME as those in Switzerland these days (no Swiss trains do not run like clocks on time IME) - why not just take an earlier train to Milan - they run about every half hour or so? Why only build in a 30-min transfer time?
PalenQ is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Hi All,

Thanks for all of the info. Kentucky, I agree that we will not book with Rail Europe but I looked to their site for information. We received price quotes from them for most of our trip, and everything was marked up about 10% and then fees were added on top.

However, I am really confused with the Italian trains. Rail Europe and Trenitalia seem to have 2 entirely different schedules. I know Rail Europe is supposedly posting the current schedule before the summer change, but the few trains listed on Trenitalia don't seem to match at all.

Question: We are traveling after June 11 switchover to summer train schedule, are the trains listed on Trenitalia only the ones that have been confirmed for those times with possibly others to be added later?

Thanks again, John
jlubeck is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 02:56 PM
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Rail Europe only show trains that they sell ticket for and is not a good site for any information. The best site for all schedule is bahn.de. It is the Germany rail but is easy to use. And treitalia.com is nearly as easy to use.

....I would never count on an Italian train haha .... That kind of remark is just stupid. It is misleading for an inexperienced traveler who is worried about being on time. The emphasis is on the HaHa. All trains - Swiss, Germany, etc. -- all have trouble maintaining schedules especially if the weather is bad. In our experience which covers nearly a year of travel over 18 years, the vast majority of Italian have been on time within a ten minute window. Personally I would have no problem with scheduling a 30 min layover in Milan.
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May 21st, 2011, 03:14 PM
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Hi fmpden,

I'll definitely take a look at bahn.de. We just received our Eurail (Italy only) and Swiss passes in the mail (and DHL for the Swiss passes).

I assumed that the Eurail has no limitations on the "high speed" trains e.g. from Rome to Venice that we plan to take. Can anyone confirm?

Thanks, John
jlubeck is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 04:01 PM
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The train schedules will not change that much when the new schedules come in. To get an idea now, just use dates for the same day during this coming week.
ellenem is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 05:23 PM
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>>>I assumed that the Eurail has no limitations on the "high speed" trains e.g. from Rome to Venice that we plan to take. Can anyone confirm?<<<

The only limitation is you must purchase seat reservations.

RailEurope is making up train names and numbers for Italian trains so they don't match the actual train name/number on Trenitalia. You can decipher which trains by looking at departure times (pick the same day of the week as schedules can vary a bit between weekdays/weekends).
kybourbon is online now  
May 21st, 2011, 06:42 PM
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The only place you can use a rail pass without restrictions is on the Regional trains -- the slowest. All the other trains in Italy require a seat reservation fee that varies by the type of train. I assume you did you homework and determined that the pass as more economical than p2p tickets. You can make the seat reservation at anytime, however, if you miss the train the reservation is non-refundable.
fmpden is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 11:03 PM
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Hi fmpden,

Thanks again. Regarding the price of tickets vs. the Italy only Pass, I am not quite sure. The "Base" which I believe means basic price is slightly cheaper, but "flessibile" / flexible tickets are more than the pass. We will only use 2 of the 3 days but we may use the extra pass day for a day-trip while in Rome.

However, I can only find Rail Europe to purchase the reservations for the high speed train. Rome to Venice is $15 for youth, children and adults. Is there a better place to purchase reservations?
jlubeck is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 03:58 AM
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Yes, you should use Trenitalia to price tickets and make seat reservations (Trenitalia is the Italian train company). RailEurope is a reseller and marks them up. They also don't list all of Trenitalia's trains. To reserve seats only on Trenitalia, select the train you want and select global pass in the fares drop down box. AV/ES trains (the fastest trains) are 10€ each and IC trains (slower) are 3€.

If you are only traveling two days, I can't imagine a pass would be economical.
kybourbon is online now  
May 22nd, 2011, 04:06 AM
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Things have improved enormously over the last few years and mostly the Eurostar and Eurocity trains are fairly punctual especially on the Milan - Rome axis and the axis across the northern plain - i.e. Venice to Milan and beyond.

In fact one of the biggest problems over the last couple of years for travellers between Switzerland and Milan has been the delays of trains coming from Switzerland as anyone at the Como station realises.
nochblad is offline  

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