Lucern to Florence with 45 minutes only in Milan

Lucern to Florence with 45 minutes only in Milan

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sulnata
sulnata
32 posts
active member
May 31, 2016 - 6:42 PM

we plan to travel to Florence from Lucern by EC train at 08:46 , which reaches Milan at 12:50.

Are these trains run on time?

The connecting train italo departs at 13:35 from Milan. Is it Safe to keep the this short break ?

sskundu
sskundu
127 posts
active member
May 31, 2016 - 9:26 PM in reply to sulnata

I switched trains at Milan for Rome (coming from Luzern)... and yes, they depart "bang on time".. unless some very unusual reason which is rare. For the same reason, I kept a gap of about 1.5 hours between my trains. Milan is a big station... But luckily for me, the train to Rome was to depart from the same zone... All the tracks in that zone are laid side by side... but it can be bit hectic to travel from Track 5 to 20.... So if you can't change your connecting train now, travel with less luggage which would make you more flexible but 45 mins should be good enough to find your connection.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 31, 2016 - 9:31 PM in reply to sulnata

<<"we plan to travel to Florence from Lucern by EC train at 08:46 , which reaches Milan at 12:50. The connecting train italo departs at 13:35 from Milan. Is it Safe to keep the this short break ? ">>

Hi Sulnata -

You never know. We made the same journey a few years ago and were within a km or 2 of Milano Centrale coming from Firenze (Florence), 30 minutes before our scheduled departure to Luzern ( or Zürich) . We actually arrived at the platform 20 minutes late. The train to Switzerland departed 35 minutes late.....so, we made it.

We did not have a lot of luggage.....

It was exciting.

You'll never know, but I'd be reluctant to plan on a 45 minute connection, myself..... ;-(

Slowpoke

sskundu
sskundu
127 posts
active member
Jun 1, 2016 - 6:33 AM in reply to Slowpoke

This is quite situational and people after often afraid for the "what-if" factor. Nevertheless, it's always better to have a wider margin like I kept for my train to Rome in April. But everything was in time and we spent like 1h10m on the platform. :-)

Also, coz of this punctuality we missed our train from Paris to Geneva by "exactly 1 minute". Train was to depart at 9:17am and we arrive at the track at 9:18am and saw the train wave us good bye :-( Had to spend €200 of new tickets for myself and my wife.... so always be safe than sorry :-D

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Jun 1, 2016 - 7:40 AM in reply to sskundu

Hi SSkundu ( and Sulnata) -

Inside Switzerland, allowable connections (as far as the scheduling computers are concerned) are typically 4 minutes, perhaps a bit longer at big stations such as Zürich, with multiple track levels. Luzern is a single level station with (I recall) 14 tracks, all of which terminate at one railhead platform. 4 minutes is fine, even with luggage.

At Arth-Goldau, which is a transfer point for trains from Milano Centrale to Luzern and Zürich, and where possible for common connections at many stations (such as Spiez) , connecting trains will be stopped at the two opposing sides of one platform. At Arth-Goldau, a lot of people make that change, which can be done in one minute if you don't have a lot of luggage, you just walk across the platform. The trains from Italy to Luzern then onward Basel, or alternately, Zürich and onward, all stop at Arth-Goldau, so that you can take a train to either Luzern or Zürich and (on average) half the time, you'll have to get off and change at Arth-Goldau.

The nice thing about Switzerland's system is that there is almost always another train along in one hour. Since reservations are not needed on any and all trains and buses and boats, except for a few rare excursion trains such as the Glacier Express, that works well. The SBB is well along in establishing service every 30 minutes between stations such as Bern/Zürich, because they want to make the main lines into fast and frequent interurban service. Their plan is to allow you to walk over (or take a tram every 8 minutes in the cities) to the station and catch the next train without worrying about schedule.

In the Bernese Oberland, trains from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg are scheduled ever 30 minutes. In high season, when the small trains are quite full, unscheduled trains are often fitted in between the regular ones to carry the large number of passengers.

On systems that require reservations, which are essentially all other countries for main line or international service, SSKundu has presented the dilemma. If you miss, you need new tickets. Not so inside Switzerland.

The once per hour rule for services is sometimes broken on secondary lines or, especially, bus lines, at midday or early afternoon, out in the countryside. And, some services do not run late in the evening. For the routes that most tourists take, that does not happen. I sometimes run into it if am taking a bus to a trailhead for a hike.

The timetable is useful for that reason:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

The Swiss timetable will show trains from Milano Centrale to Luzern. Sulnata can easily check to see when the next train is and perhaps take a later one. The service is fairly frequent.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jun 1, 2016 - 7:45 AM by Slowpoke
Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 1, 2016 - 8:37 AM

One more comment in addition to all the relevant information above: missing an international train doesn't necessarily mean you need to buy a new ticket. There are various ticket types and some are flexible. That means you only need to go to the ticket office to get another seat reservation for the next train, with little or no additional payment. The cheaper tickets tend to be for one train only and are useless if you miss it.

sulnata
sulnata
32 posts
active member
Jun 1, 2016 - 8:47 AM

Thanks Arno & slopoke. Very good information

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