ES versus IC trains

Old Aug 15th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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ES versus IC trains

Hi,
I'm planning to travel in Italy and was wondering whether there is much difference between the ES and IC trains. When i looked at the schedules there doesn't seem to be much time difference for the journeys I'm planning to make: Naples-Rome, Rome-Florence, Florence-Venice. Is it worth the extra cost to travel by ES?
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 11:30 AM
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I've posted on this issue extensively on this site. Here are my thoughts:

Naples to Rome: very little difference. If travelling on an IC train which originates in the deep south or in Sicily, I suggest booking a seat reservation, particularly if travelling in second class.

Rome to Florence: ES trains are faster and non-stop. Virtually all IC trains make at least one stop. If travelling on an IC train which originates in or south of Naples, I suggest booking a reserved seat, particularly if going second class.

Florence to Venice: very little difference, although you should book a reserved seat, as the IC train originates in Naples and may be full by the time it arrives at Florence.

Note that, once you add the costs of the reserved seat, the IC train does not cost much less than the ES!!!

The IC train is nearly as smooth and quiet as the ES train. In second class, IC seats (three across) are actually wider than the four across on the ES train.
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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I agree with GAC, and add that only some IC trains have restaurant cars. Their slower crossing of the Appenines gives you more time to enjoy the scenery.

Ben Haines, London
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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ira
 
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Hi a,

ES* trains are almost always on time.

For all other trains, schedules are guidelines.


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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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After Dec 05 when the high-speed tracks Rome-Naples are finished the time differential between ES and IC trains on this route will become greater. Venice-Florence though there are a few IC trains the bult of the service seems to be ES so depends on time of day you want to leave. Rome-florence IC takes 2.5 hrs, ES 1.5 hrs. In first class on ES trains you get a tiny cup of coffee, a platicized pastry and an Italian newspaper.
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 12:57 PM
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Another difference which one sometimes encounters are old and very worn railcars on IC trains, with soiled and sometimes even torn seat upholstery. By contrast, seats on ES trains are usually pretty good.

Seats on IC trains are being upgraded (new upholstery, newer lighting) to the point that they are as comfortable as seats on ES trains, but there do remain some non-upgraded IC railcars.

Between Rome and Florence, different IC trains take more or less time depending on the number of en-route stops (as few as one, as many as four).
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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GAC,

Are you sure about seat reservations in second class?

We rode 2nd class Assisi-Rome and were given a "boarding pass" with no assigned seat. The impression I got was that second class in Italy is open seating.
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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You must have taken a local train (R, IR or D) between Rome and Assisi. These trains do not accept reservations.

By contrast, seat reservations come automatically on all ES trains.

By contrast, seat reservations are optional (and recommended in second class) on IC trains.
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