Saturday, 30 May 2020

Europe’s Longest Train Ride

As Italy emerges from lockdown, Trenitalia will be first off the block with what will possibly be Europe’s longest train ride.

Italy’s state rail operator will link Turin in the North with Reggio di Calabria in the South. Trenitalia will deploy a Frecciarossa high-speed trainset effective from June 3rd.

The Northbound Frecciarossa commences June 4, and there will be a single daily Frecciarossa each way taking ten hours 50 minutes to complete the trip.

The schedules are as follows:
Turin (Porta Nova) to Reggio di Calabria, departing 0800, arriving 1850
Reggio di Calabria to Turin (Porta Nova), departing 1010, arriving 2100

Website Europe by Rail reckons that with a route length of 1,387 km (862 miles) it “must surely rank as one of Europe’s longest regular daytime rail journeys that can be completed without changing trains.”

However Trenitalia’s claim to fame will be short lived, as open access rival Italo, a member of Allrail EU, will enter the route ten days later.

Italo will operate up to twice daily in either direction, commencing June 14th.

Initial schedules display two southbound but just one northbound service.

The Italo service will operate from Turin (Porta Susa). Its journey times are roughly similar.
Turin (Porta Susa) to Reggio di Calabria, departing 0523, arriving 1630
Turin (Porta Susa) to Reggio di Calabria, departing 1319, arriving 0007 (the following day)
Reggio di Calabria to Turin (Porta Susa) 1330 arriving 0015 (following day)

Both Trenitalia and Italo offer a choice of passenger accommodation at varying prices. Check their websites for details.

As with France’s TGVs and Germany’s ICEs, readers will find that routes are not high speed all the way.

Stretches of the route linking Turin with Reggio di Calabria operate over conventional track, particularly south of Naples.

From Turin both operators take the main route via Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples.

Many travellers will probably join/alight at intermediate stops rather than completing the entire trip.