Italy’s Trenitalia has launched its fastest ever Frecciarossa service between Rome and Milan, with a duration of two hours and 45 minutes.
But don’t get too excited. This train only operates round-trip in one direction and it does not serve the main termini in Rome or Milan.
(Readers please note that this one special train operates only between Rome and Milan. There is no Milan-Rome-Milan equivalent.)
The service departs Rome at an early hour and returns from Milan in the evening, so it is aimed at the day-trip business traveller.
Schedules call for a departure from Rome Tiburtina at 0530 which offers an arrival into Milan Rogoredo at 0815.
In the return direction it departs Rogoredo at 2044 to reach Rome Tiburtina at 2329.
As a former UK rail manager, now resident in Italy, told me:
“It’s a bit of a PR stunt. Trains are not running from city centre to city centre and have only early/late timings.
“However the usual 3 hours 10 mins trip is still very impressive.”
This service is shorter because it avoids the busy city centre stations at both Rome and Milan.
Of course there are very many trains between Milan Centrale and Rome Termini which enable travellers to mix and match schedules.
How do the timings compare to the UK?
Rome-Milan equates to London-Edinburgh. But the two operators, LNER and Lumo, all take over four hours for the trip – with one exception.
LNER does offer a four hour trip, provided travellers depart Edinburgh at 0540 for a London arrival at 0940. A similar timing is not offered in the reverse direction.