The Anonymous Widower

Riding The Frecciarossa

After I left Aosta, I took a train to Turin Porta Nuova station.

The journey involved a change of trains at Ivrea station and then a reverse at Chivasso station.

Reverses, where a train stops in a station and the driver changes ends, to drive it out, are surely one of the most inefficient parts of passenger train operation.

Surely, automation could do better.

From Turin Porta Nuova station, I took one of Italy’s high-speed trains; a Frecciarossa to Milan. Centrale station.

Some of my observations.

The Route

Note that for a lot of the route, the Turin-Milan High Speed Railway runs alongside the Milan-Turin Autostrada (A4).

I wonder why HS2 is not being built alongside the M1 between London and Birmingham, with possibly a stop at Milton Keynes.

After all, HS1 follows the M2 and M20 in Kent.

Multi-Class Seating

I saw one train with four classes; Standard, Premium, Business and Executive.

Do Italians, really need that many classes?


I bought the ticket from a machine, which also sells the tickets for the slower classic route trains.

As you pick a train, when you buy a ticket in Italy, so you can have reserved seats, you can choose a fast or slow train.

I hope HS2 is the same, so that if say you want to go from London to Birmingham or Manchester, you can choose your route.

There’s only one problem with Italian ticket machines. Often, when you start to buy a ticket, a beggar will appear and try to help or scam a few euros out of you. Some ticket machines are now in separate rooms off the concourse.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 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/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Would I Go Back To Turin?

As I said Turin was very disappointing and only if an event like a football match was taking place, in which I was interested, would I go.

I nearly ended up in Turin several years ago.  In this post about Venice, I start with.

I’ve been to Venice many times, including once at New Year and another time to give a software demonstration at Verona.  The latter ended in my giving someone a tour of Venice in the dark.  As he had left before first light in the morning, I suspect he’s one of the few people to have seen the city, but not in the light.

But that is only part of the story of the software demonstration.

I had done the presentation in Cambridge and one of the attendees there had worked for the Department of the Environment. He asked if I would like to do the presentation to some Italian civil servants in Turin on the day after the August Bank Holiday. At the last minute it was switched to Verona, so I never got to Turin!

After the Verona meeting the Department of the Environment man, was driving to Rome to see other Italian officials and then meet his wife for a holiday. Hence the reason we ended up in Venice, as after all is there a better place to stay in that part of Italy.

One other memory of that trip was being given a large handful of lira or was it euros for expenses.

So I made a good profit on the trip.

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

From Turin To Milan

I was glad to leave Turin for Milan.

I was comfortably in First Class, virtually by myself for €34.50.

There is a high speed route, but my train took the traditional one.

One point to note about Italian trains is that most of their stations are termini, where you often have a long walk down the length of the train to get to your carriage. You realise how good the loading is at Kings Cross and the three major Eurostar termini, where you can use a bridge to get to the middle of the train.

An Italian told me a few years ago, that depending on the journey, he sometimes travels First Class and sometimes travels Second, just to avoid walking the full length of the train twice, as some journeys have intermediate stops, where the train actually reverses.

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

I Nearly Missed My Train

on this trip, I have been making extensive use of Left Luggage offices. They have generally been fairly good, although more expensive than the self-service German lockers.

But I was greeted by this sign, when I return to Turin Porta Nuova station.

I Nearly Missed My Train

I Nearly Missed My Train

It could have meant a whole new meaning to left luggage.

When the guy returned, he was puffing away on the remains of a ciggie!

So I had found him out!

In the end, I caught the train with a few minutes to spare.

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

A Rather Sorry Park

Outside of the main Turin Porta Nuova station, I found this small park.

It would have been a nice place to wait in the sun. But it was fully locked.

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

The Iconic FIAT Factory At Lingotto

The FIAT factory at Lingotto is best remembered in the UK for its appearance in the Italian Job. I just had to visit.

I couldn’t find out how to get on the roof to see where the Minis had outrun the Italian police, so I explored the rather boring shopping centre and then returned to the centre of Turin to catch my train to Milan.

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

The Turin Metro

The Turin Metro is not a big system, although it is being expanded.

Unlike the system in Genoa, it doesn’t serve the main part of the city centre, although it does link up the main train stations.

Like London’s DLR it is driver-less and surely in a few years time, all metros will be this way.

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

Disappointing Turin

One of the purposes of my trip was to visit places in Italy, that I’d never been to with C.  Hence my visit to Turin, where I hoped to see some of the places made famous by The Italian Job.

It didn’t help as it was raining, but I was staying in the centre close to the main square and the cathedral.

So I just had a walk around, rode on a few trams and had a rather poor meal.

The latter was probably the most disappointing, as on this trip, I’ve eaten very well. But not in Turin. I had the worst vitello tonnato, I’ve ever had.

October 11, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

From Genoa To Turin

This leg was done in another Freccibianca and took about a couple of hours.

It wasn’t the most dramatic of journeys, although we had to wait for half-an-hour for the incoming train.

October 11, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment