The Anonymous Widower

DHL Targets 10-day China – Europe Transit Time

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

A few points from the article.

  • The route is 9,400 km long.
  • The train goes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
  • Entry to the EU is at Braniewo in Poland.
  • The current terminals are Xi’an in China and Hamburg and Neuss in Germany.
  • Other proposed terminals include Budapest and Milan.
  • Estimated transit time is 10-12 days, as opposed to the current 15-plus days.

I’ve actually been to the area around Braniewo, which before the Second World War was partly in Germany. I wrote Railways In North East Poland about my trip, which was mainly to see wildlife.

We also got to see the Russian border.

The tag Poland In Winter shows all the posts from that trip.



April 24, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thello Bids To Run Milano – Paris High Speed Service

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette International.

This is the first paragraph.

Trenitalia subsidiary Thello has notified rail regulator ARAFER of its intention to launch the first open access passenger services on the French high speed network. The regulator announced on June 4 that Thello had requested paths from SNCF Réseau for a twice-daily service between Milano and Paris to start from June 2020.

These are more details of the service.

  • Services will leave both cities around 07.00 and 15.00 each day.The journey time would be under 7 hours.
  • Intermediate stops would be at Torino, Modane, Chambery Challes Les Eaux and Lyon Part Dieu.
  • Services would be worked by Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa 1000 trainsets.
  • Trains would use LGV Sud-Est.
  • Each train would be able to carry up to 457 passengers, with 300 standard class seats, 76 Premium, 69 Business and 10 Executive.

SNCF also run a service between Milano and Paris, which I have used between Novara and Paris.

I wrote about that trip in From Novara To Paris.

It looks to me that the Trello service could be a better experience.

  • It could be faster as it will use the Torino to Milano High Speed Line.
  • It runs twice a day.

Combined with Eurostar, it would make London to Milan in a day feasible.

But whether you would want to do that is another matter!

I have come home in a day from Barcelona, Geneva, Karlsruhe, Madrid, Munich and Novara.

  • But then, I can be in my bed at home in under twenty minutes from when the Eurostar arrives in St. Pancras.
  • Leaving the UK, I will often fly to my starting point.
  • I will also come home in half-day-sized journeys, breaking the trip in a reasonable hotel each night.

There are various developments making this mode of travel around Europe easier and more comfortable.

  • More high-speed lines are being developed.
  • Austrian Railways are developing more sleeper trains, that they call NightJet.
  • The availability of affordable hotels is getting better.

At certain times of the year, hotels and train tickets can be arranged easily in every overnight stop.




June 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building Railways In The UK Is Easy

I have just read this article on Global Rail News, which is entitled French Senate approves Lyon-Turin rail link.

That sounds easy until you read this from the Wikipedia entry.

Test drilling found some internally stressed coal-bearing schists that are poorly suited for a tunnel boring machine, and old-fashion Drilling and blasting will be used for the short corresponding sections.

It is not going to be a simple tunnelling job. It is more akin to some of the eighteenth and nineteenth century tunnels through the Pennines. Except that the tunnel will be 57 kilometres long and modern explosives are better.

It will carry a lot of freight, in addition to passengers from Paris and Lyon to Northern Italy.

But I doubt, I’ll ever be able to take a High Speed Train from London to Milan, as I’ll be long gone before everything is completed.

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Would I Go Back To Milan?

I Don’t think I need to say more than one word. Yes!

October 13, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

From Milan To Geneva

The train journey from Milan to Geneva goes through the lakes and mountains and the Simplon Tunnel.

It is a journey that must be one of the most spectacular in a train on a regular rather than a tourist service.

It is also pretty fast, as my journey took under four hours. It’s not expensive, as for the 17th November, you can book the same train for just £20 and First Class for £110. By comparison London to Newcastle on the same day at a similar time are showing at £60 and £90 respectively for a journey an hour shorter.

October 13, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do They Use These Doors In Pyramids?

I saw this door opening method in several places in Italy.

Do They Use These Doors In Pyramids?

Do They Use These Doors In Pyramids?

They seemed to work well, so they could be described as a good Ponzi system.

This web site explains all about the company.

And this one explains about Ponzi schemes.

October 13, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Milan Science Museum

This science museum, made ours in South Kensington seem particularly narrow in scope, very small and boring.

They also had no objections to the taking of pictures, providing you switched the flash off.

It was very busy with families and lots of kids.

One of the great things about a lot of Italian museums, is they seem to open early, unlike in some countries like Denmark.

October 13, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mind The Gap – Italian Style

They also use London Underground’s catch-phrase in Milan.

Mind The Gap - Italian Style

Mind The Gap – Italian Style

In fact, you also see direction signs to the Underground in Milan. I suppose that both Metro and Underground are understandable to most visitors. The Germans tend to fit too, as they use U-bahn.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

A Nice Touch On The Milan Underground

I saw this plate on a handrail on the Milan Underground.

A Nice Touch On The Milan Underground

A Nice Touch On The Milan Underground

My eyesight may not be good enough to drive, but my brain compensates by turning my head to make my walking safe.

But it is touches like this, that must help those with limited vision to navigate a city safely and successfully.

To contrast, in Turin I’d seen a partially-sighted guy with a cane, having trouble with an escalator on the Metro.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Supper At Savini

Savini is one of the most prominent and well-known restaurants in Milan. It is in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and sitting outside the restaurant, as I did, is one of the best places, I’ve ever found to people watch.  Or as C used to say, watch the bimboni!

I had a good meal and thoroughly overfilled myself. I would of course, have had a better meal, if I’d had a suitable bimboni with me.  But preferably one with intelligence, style and some worldly experience. If a lady can’t remember the 1960s, she’s too young for me!


When C and I met there, I missed a story, that I could have sold to the tabloids.  At the time, there was speculation, that a certain England footballer might be pursuing his career in Milan.  He’d gone missing, but turned up at the next table, with his very pregnant girlfriend. I do remember though, that he chose and ordered her meal for her. But at least they didn’t do anything that might have besmirched their good name, that of their club or their country. In fact his politeness to his girlfriend was a complete surprise, as on the pitch he generally didn’t behave as well.

I think that a few years later, they are still together, so it looks like the tabloids got his antics and personality wrong.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment