Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rome to Nice (via Cinque Terre)

Today I'm leaving Rome for my further trip towards Barcelona. I will end up in Nice by the end of today.
I'm walking to Roma Termini - the second largest station in Europe after Gare du Nord in Paris.
Current station building is from 1950

ETR 425 "Airport version" of "Jazz" train.
Trains branded as "Leonardo Express" are since 2015 operating Rome central station with Airport Fiumicino.

FS Class E.464, a locomotive from Bombardier. There are today over 700 units of these locomotives.
Here are two more, with older green livery.
ETR 575 "AGV" from Italo treno and ETR 485 "Frecciargento"
Two flagship train from competing Italotreno(NTV) and Trenitalia.

Frecciargento is a one step lower version of the high speed Frecciarossa. It operates with speeds of 250km/h while the other one with 300km/h. Today Frecciargento operates with either ETR 485 or ETR 600.

Frecciarossa ETR 500 train.
My first train today will be Frecciargento ETR 600 to Florens (Firenze).

Inside ETR 600, which looks exactly like ETR 610 I took the other day from Zurich.
Passing by Roma Tiburtina station, second largest station after Termini in Rome.

Frecciargento train is not stoping anywhere until Firenze as it is using the first high speed line in Italy - Firenze-Roma DD (Direttissima). At some parts, the old railway is running in parallel, it is named Firenze-Roma LL (Linea Lenta). The difference in travelling is 1h30min between these two lines.
Here passing next to town Castiglione In Taverina before entering Castiglione tunnel (7,39km)
Passing by Orvieto
Here the railway runs in parallel with Autostrada A1 or E35 from Rome to Amsterdam.
Firenze Campo di Marte station
My train has arrived to Firenze Santa Maria Novella
After a short stop it continues to Venice. I will change to a local train for Pisa.
E.464 locomotive hauling Vivalto coaches.
Current station is from 1934
My next train is a Regionale Veloce (RV) which is a Regional Express service between Firenze and Livorno.
It is a pull push train hauled by FS Class E.464
I'm in Tuscany region
My 2nd train consists of coaches type MDVC from 1980 and 2nd version MDVE from 1981 (shown here). MDVE stands for Medie Distanze Vestiboli Estremi. This train has only 2nd class coaches.
Inside MDVC coach. MDVC is for Medie Distanze Vestiboli Centrali
The coach had a "face lift" in 2014
I'm leaving Firenze
ETR 575
The trip to Pisa takes exactly 1h

I'm changing trains here for my next train to La Spezia. There are a slower train (shown here) taking 1h23min, and a faster Intercity that takes 0h54min, I'm taking the fast one.
Polish Pesa Atribo diesel train, Class ATR 220 Tr operates here since 2014.
The train operates service between Pisa and Lucca

Here is my Intercity train arriving from nearby Livorno.
FS Class E.444R with R for Riqualificazione (Modernisation). The locomotive is used for speeds of 200km/h

My coach is a 1st class Gran Confort from 1972 which I found to be a very comfortable one.
Arno river
Here is Siemens Vectron DC from DB Cargo Italia
For a short moment I can even see the leaning tower of Pisa

Apuan Alps mountain range
Another Intercity in opposite direction
The train has one IntercityNotte (ICN) coach type BC. Actually on this route there are night trains later on the day, ICN 1963 for the route is between Milano 20:10 to Siracusa 15:46 (which is in Sicily), ICN 799 from Torino 21:55 to Salerno 09:12.
No service on this train
Local marble


I'm getting off in La Spezia
Intercity 670 continues to Milano
La Spezia is the second largest city in the Liguria region after Genoa.
La Spezia Centrale

My next train is a Regional service between La Spezia and Sestri Levante
It's a Vivalto double deck train hauled by E.464
Vivalto is from 2005 and is manufactured by AnsaldoBreda
Only 2nd class on this train too.
I'm travelling along Pisa-Genoa railway. No high speed trains are operated here with the exception for Frecciabianca service operated by ETR 460 "Pendolino" train (shown nere).
The part of the Ligurian railway I will travel now on was built 1874 between La Spezia and Sestri Levante.
This was the most difficult section of the railway to build. I have now reached a place called La Cinque Terre - five villages unaccessible from the land before the opening of the railway.
Here is Riomaggiore station, partially in a tunnel.
There are train stations at all five villages, and it should be possible also to walk between them.

I have time to only visit one of the towns, and I've decided it would be Manarola. Next train is in 1h, so I have time to look around.
Many tourists are visiting these places.
Vivalto train driving coach.

To reach the village from the station there is a tunnel.

Manarola may be the oldest of the five villages, from 1338.

The views are incredible

A railway track

Station viewed from the village.

Vivalto regional trains are stopping at all five villages, while other regional services, Intercity and Frecciabianca are just passing by. Here is a Regional train from La Spezia to Genoa passing by.

I wish I could stay longer here, but I have to follow my schedule. This is definitely a place worth visit more times, besides I still have 4 more villages to cover.
I'm going back to the station.
Via Dell'Amore is the walking path to the other village.

Intercity 510 (Roma-Torino) is passing by. Speed limit is 130km/h here.

Previous station can be seen from here.

After passing all Cinque Terre stations, I'm getting off in Monterosso. Here I will change to the next Intercity for further trip to Genoa.

Just outside the station is the beach.

The station house
Vernazza village can be seen from here

Time to go back to the station
My Intercity is arriving.
It is an FS Class E.402B locomotive
From Monterosso and until Genoa, the line is following the coast. Here is Framura village.

Chiesa di Santa Croce in Moneglia


Chiesa di Santa Margherita di Antiochia in Sori

I see many ships, which means that I'm getting closer to Genoa which has Italy's largest port.

Here I'm changing to my last train for today, I have some time to visit the station.

Piazza Acquaverde outside the station
Statue of Christopher Columbus who was a citizen of Genoa.

My last train is an Eurocity "Thello" to Nice. For Interrail passholders the price is basically the same when buying reservation or a single ticket, from 25EUR (2nd), or 35EUR (1st) to Nice.
I'm taking 1st class
Genoa harbour

Ventimiglia is the last stop in Italy. Thello is the only through service, the other option is to change from Italian to French regional trains.
Here a locomotive change is made. French locomotive BB 36000 leased from Akiem SA. The locomotive is manufactured by Alstom and is supposed to support 3 power systems (3kV DC, 15kV DC and 25kV 50Hz), but this one numbered as 36023 supports only operations in France and Belgium.
After almost 3h journey I'm in Nice.

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