Saturday, May 14, 2022

Mendrisio S.Martino, Capolago-Riva S.Vitale, Lugano Paradiso, Pino-Tronzano, Gerra, Maccagno

New trip this weekend, in Switzerland and Italy!
SL X60 at Upplands-Väsby
Arlanda airport
Still huge queues at the security check
How was your experience today?
Here it's less crowded

My flight today

Arriving at Zurich airport
This must be one of the easiest connections between flight and train in Europe
About 5 min after stepping off the plane, I could board the train

I'm going to Italy straight away, this is the last train for today, so I'm glad I could make it

Having my dinner on the train
At Bellinzona, I'm changing trains
I'm in the middle of the Alps in May, but the temperature is above 20 C in the evening!
Freight trains are frequent here

I'm arriving at Como S.Giovanni

Breakfast in the morning at B&B Hotel Como, which is just near the station

At Chiasso, I'm changing trainsBreakfast in the morning at B&B Hotel Como, which is just near the station

Italian and Swiss train networks in this region are well integrated
I have now entered Switzerland (It is much cheaper to stay in hotel in Italy than Switzerland)
My goal is to see the freight trains, this route is part of Rhine-Alpine RFC1 route, so there should be trains here. On the other hand, the route is splitted in two after Bellinzona, one goes through Chiasso and Monza, the other through Luino. Today I will check out both of them
I'm suspecting that there are not many freight trains here due to the frequent passenger services
Airport service to Malpensa

Re 420 together with Panorama coaches for Gotthard Panorama Express
Since the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the old railway is much unused so it is possible to have extra tourist services there. 

The train has only 1st class, and there are both Panorama coaches and old types (but with windows that can be opened)

Unknown bird
At Capolago I can spot not only standard gauge trains
The line to Monte Generoso opened in 1860. The 9km long railway is reaching the Generoso Vetta terminus, at 1592 m

Here it is, a freight train on the line
Hauled with two Re 620, it was overtaken at Chiasso from an Italian locomotive

Traxx AC1 is also used on the line until Chiasso

Lago di Lugano

Arriving to Paradise

The station was totally renovated in 2018

Monte San Salvatore funicular is just next to the station

Excellent Italian coffee is available at many stations here
Yes, it's 27 C in the middle of May

I'm on my way to the other branch of Rhine-Alpine railway 

The line Cadenazzo-Luino is starting here in Cadezanno
The line is operated with S30 regional line, but the traffic is suspended until 14:00, so I have to take a bus
Rail replacement bus
The bus is following the rail line, but of course it's behind the time table schedule
I have now reached Lago Maggiore, it is the second largest lake in Italy after Garda

There it is, the railway
Actually, I'm back in Italy but from the other side

The Luino Line was opened on December 4, 1882 by the Gotthard Railway Company. It was initially intended to accommodate the Gotthardbahn traffic to Genoa, while traffic to Milan was to flow via Chiasso. It was one of the last SBB routes to be operated with steam locomotives; electrical operation with single-phase alternating current 15 kV 16 ⅔ Hz was not introduced until June 11, 1960. (Wikipedia)
Visiting Pino Tronzano station which is the first one on the Italian side

The line has a single track with possibilites to overtake and cross at some stations
Just as I expected, most freight trains are using this line rather than the Chiasso line
193 658

This line is electrified with Swiss standard until Luino
Local fauna
The only passenger service on the line is the S30

The trains are running every 2nd hour

So, I'm taking the train to Ranzo (CH), walking to Gerra (CH) and then taking the train once again to a station in Italy

Gerra station
It's better to push this button if you want the train to stop here

More freight trains

Heading back to Italy, this time to Maccagno

SBB Vectron locomotives can operate both in Switzerland and Italy

 The line is an important access for the Hupac large terminal in Busto Arsizio - Gallarate .

Luino station

At Gallarate I'm changing trains. Today I will end up in Domodossola on the other branch of the Rhine-Alpine railway, the Lötschberg Simplon railway

From Gallarate to Domodossola I'm taking the Eurocity train
This is a service between Venice and Geneva
Interrail burger is available on the train

This train has a mandatory seat reservation, even though nobody checked mine

I'm staying in a hotel with a very "popular" name right now


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