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Changing trains - nightmare or piece of cake?

Changing trains - nightmare or piece of cake?

Old Dec 6th, 2001, 05:17 PM
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Changing trains - nightmare or piece of cake?

I see that the schedule for our train from Venice to Stuttgart has a train change in Milan that only allows 20 minutes from arrival to departure. That seems like it might be difficult to accompolish. Should I schedule differently? Do you get help with baggage? We are traveling 1st class.
Old Dec 6th, 2001, 05:59 PM
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20 min is usually plenty IF your train arrives on time. Ask the conductor who comes to check your ticket if he knows which track your next train departs in Milan. Regarding 1st class, it makes it HARDER since there are less 1st class cars so you have to find them.
Old Dec 6th, 2001, 06:10 PM
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the only help you get is the use of your own hands. Be quick and move your luggage to the door and when and if the doors open move on out. If your the one opening the doors remember on these trains you open the doors
Old Dec 6th, 2001, 06:31 PM
Bob Brown
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Even in the largest stations, 20 minutes is more than enough. Of course I am assuming that your are fully ambulatory and can move your own luggage. We have changed trains in Bern, Zürich, and Salzburg with no trouble. Zürich is a large station on more than one level, so we had to move it. But the SBB web site had already told us which track our connecting train was on, so it was just a question or moving from A to B.
Salzburg is a busy station, without a large number of platforms. But the information is clearly posted.
If you are running a little slow, and the trains do leave promptly, get on any car and then find your way to your seats.
You cannot dawdle, but the time you state should be adequate.
Old Dec 6th, 2001, 09:00 PM
Santa Chiara
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I recently had a 15 minute change in Milan. Our train was about five minutes late arriving. I arrived on the track at one end of the station and, of course, our train was not only at the other end but over a little bit more behind the building. By running flat out (with suitcase), we barely made it. We hopped on the first car as the doors were closing, and then made our way through about 15 more cars before coming to our seats.

Usually 20 minutes would be adequate, if the trains run on time, if you don't have a lot of luggage, if the tracks aren't widely separated. If you are the nervous type about this sort of thing, I would recommend allowing a little more time.

Please note: these comments relate only to the Milan train station and to the Italian train system, which was what the question was about.

I will also note that on returning, I had 20 minutes to change, my train arrived a few minutes early, and I had plenty of time.
Old Dec 6th, 2001, 09:09 PM
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Lets see now. An Italian train running on time. It does happen BUT it will most probably (from my own experience) be running late.

If it is running late them you will have to be very quick to get to your train to Stuttgart. This brings up the second problem - what platform will it be leaving from? In Milano there are approximately 20 Platforms (from memory) and IF Stuttgart is NOT where the Train is finishing then the Departure Board will have some other name there, for instance Cologne (Koln)(maybe!!) So finding the correct platform can be a problem.

Also, I notice that there is an earlier (7.00am) train to Stuttgart, that requires a change at Verona. As verona is only 1.5 hours from Venice the likelyhood of being delayed is very small. Also it gives you 35 minutes to find the correct platform. Maybe leaving 45 minutes earlier may just be worthwhile.

My last time through Milano Centrale I had 20 Minutes to change trains and only just made it in time - 2 minutes to be exact, and I was travelling 1st Class as well which means absolutely nothing once you are off the train.

Old Dec 7th, 2001, 06:38 AM
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You will have plenty of time.There are no underpasses to walk through, everythings on the same level.Also, many times, firstclass cars are located near the front of the train, making your walk from train to train even shorter.
Old Dec 7th, 2001, 08:33 AM
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There are no underpasses at Milano Stazione Centrale. However, at Verona Porta Nuova you have to use the underpasses (stairs, no escalators) to transfer from one track to another.
Old Dec 7th, 2001, 08:44 AM
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On a recent trip from Munich to Prague had an 8 minute train change at Nuremburg. We were quite concerned about it, but did make it. Fortunately it was a small, uncrowded station but we did have to go down a long flight of stairs, across and back up carrying our bags. Not the most pleasant experience, but we make it. Second the statement that you can just get on the train and then find your car.
Old Dec 7th, 2001, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for you help.
We plan to take David's suggestion and leave earlier.
Old Dec 7th, 2001, 07:54 PM
richard j vicek
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Good evening, Ginger make sure that
your train from Venice to goes to
Milano Centrale providing it is the
station from which the train leaves
for Stuttgart. We had one experience
a few years back when the train from
Venice was supposed to go to Milano
Centrale but was rerouted to one of the
other stations in Milano and we had to
take a short taxi ride to Centrale...
Richard of LaGrange Park, Il...
Old Dec 8th, 2001, 06:41 AM
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Santa Chiara, your mention of making a train by jumping on the first car and walking the long distance to your own car reminded me of a close call we had in Luzern (all our fault--the Swiss train was, of course, on time!) We climbed aboard the first car just in time, and during the trek through the swaying cars we had to lift our luggage over a number of peacefully sleeping and totally undisturbed dogs! We are dog-lovers, so we were charmed by the whole thing.
Old Dec 9th, 2001, 12:55 PM
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We recently had a train change in Milano with 10 minutes in between. Our trains were 10 tracks apart and we ran from one to the other through the crowds and missed the train because they closed the doors one minute early and would not allow us to board. I would think that 20 min between would be a much better situation. The tracks are all on the same level. Be sure to research and find out which tracks you are arriving and departing from. Each car is numbered (look on your ticket for yours). Generally there are no porters in Europe. You need to be prepared to carry your own luggage. Good luck. Hope you have a great trip.

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