Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Zurich to Rome

Today my trip goes to Italy, Rome. From Rome I will take the coast line all the way to Barcelona, but it will covered in later posts.
 December morning in Zurich: trams, birds and beautiful views.
 I have some time before my first train in the morning, so I'm taking a walk from the train station to the lake.

 Back to train station.
 "Transalpin" Eurocity train from Zurich to Graz is ready to leave.

 Passengers are having breakfast in restaurant coach.

 My train has not arrived yet
 Stadler Kiss, or Dosto is arriving. SBB Class RABe 511 is a 3rd generation of S-Bahn trains in Zurich
 My train is arriving, it is Eurocity 15 to Milan. The train is ETR 610 (or Swiss RABe 503)
 Today it is operated in multiple traction, but if I got it right, only one of them was going all the way to Milano, the other one was operated until Lugano, replacing ICN 667 (Basel - Lugano).
 Eurocity 193 to Munich
 I took this train exactly a year ago, back then it took me 4h3min to reach Milano, today it would be 3h26min. The 30min saving is due to Gotthard Base tunnel which opened 2016. Next time I'll take this route, I hope it would be the new EC250 "Giruno" train.
 The train is full booked, passengers are standing in the corridors.
 Unfortunately I can not describe with photos my journey through the new Gotthard Base tunnel, it is of course a faster way, but I'm not sure I'm very happy to miss all the beauty with the old route.
 3,5h later I'm in Milano. I'll have about an hour to spend before my next train, so I'll have time to visit my favourite lunch place here - Bistrot Milano Centrale.
 FS Class E.402B and ETR 470
ETR 470 "Pendolino" is an older brother of ETR 610, and it was once used on the route Zurich-Milano. Today they are only operated in Italy. This one is operated as Frecciabianca service to Rome through Genoa, La Spezia and Pisa - a trip that takes 6h53min. I will take a much faster one.
On the other side is the Eurocity service branded "Thello" between Milan and Marseille. Until June 2016 Thello was a joint venture between french Transdev and italian Trenitalia, now its a 100% owned by Trenitalia.
 The service operated 3 times per day. Thello has also a night service from Venice to Paris.
 2nd class coach "Zeta" UIC-Z1
 1st class coach "Gran Confort"
 My train will be the newest of the high speed trains in Europe, ETR 400 or V300 Zefiro. The train makes a non-stop trip Milano-Roma during 2h55min. My train will make a stop in Bologna, the trip will take 2h49min. So, today I'll travel 859km in 6,5h which is not bad, same trip by car would take 9h.
 Fastest trains in Italy are branded as "Frecciarossa", here is the ETR 500 from 1990.
 On the other side is "Frecciarossa 1000" from 2015.
 1st class coach is called "Business", while 2nd class is called "Standard". There are however two more classes here "Premium" which is something between "Standard" and "Business", and "Executive" which is the most expensive.
 Interrail 1st class ticket is valid in "Business" class. There is a required seat reservation for the price of 10EUR.
 "Frecciarossa 1000" isa project of Bombardier and AnsaldoBreda (today Hitachi Rail Italy).

 3 stops, most of the trip is made on the high speed route from north to south. Milano-Bologna line opened 2008, Bologna-Florence 2009, and Florence-Rome "Direttissima" line from 1986.
 From the Trenitalia magazine.
 In Business class a Christmas "box" is included
 It has water and some snacks
 ETR 400 has maximum speed of 400km/h, in Italy (as in other countries) maximum operational speed is 300km/h.
It's difficult to show with still pictures what 300km/h is like, so here is a video.
 A "welcome drink" is also included, I took a glass of prosecco.
 Bridge over Fiume Sieve river
 Train is passing Florence without a stop.
 ETR 324 "Jazz" train, Alstom Coradia Meridian.
 After 3h I'm in Rome.
 "Nightjet" operates here services from Rome to Vienna and Munich.
 Some coaches are already painted with "Nightjet" livery, while others are still not.

 It's getting dark early in December, so I'm in a hurry to see the Coloseum.

 When I reach Piazza San Pietro it's already dark.
 Christmas decorations.
 St. Peter's Basilica
 Altare Della Patria
A street on the way to my hotel (Via Panisperna)

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