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Varenna to Spiez during a strike


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marc in mass
marc in mass
3 posts
new member
Jun 5, 2022 - 10:24 PM

Hi all,

My wife and I will travel by rail from Varenna to Spiez on a Sunday in July. We'll go through Milan and spend a night near Spiez before continuing to Wengen the next day. We have Swiss Half Fare Cards. I went buy advance tickets on TrainLine and found out Italian train workers (TRENORD SRL) have scheduled a strike on that Sunday. Here's the webpage confirming the strike:

www.commissionegaranziasciopero.it/calendario-scioperi/dettaglio-sciopero/304484

How concerned should I be? Is the Varenna > Milan leg more likely to be affected by a strike than Milan > Spiez? Should I pay extra for flexible tickets? Should we adjust our plans so we're not traveling in Italy on Sunday? All of our stays are booked, so it would be disappointing to change them... but I will do it, if necessary.

Apologies if this is an Italy question, more than a Switzerland question. I hope someone here can offer insight.

Thanks in advance.

1960man
1960man
4164 posts
expert
Jun 5, 2022 - 10:36 PM in reply to marc in mass

Strikes are very rare on Switzerland's rail network. Strikes are very common in Italy, France and UK. I expect the disruption in Italy to be significant. Once you are on Swiss territory you should be safe enough! Trains should run north of Domodossola as the railway is operated by Switzerland.

Anna
Anna
3747 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 6, 2022 - 9:14 AM in reply to marc in mass

Hi marc in mass,

Welcome to MySwissAlps.

Most likely the strike will affect your travel from Varenna to Milan and Milan to Domodossola (the border town). As 1960man mentioned, train strikes are common in Italy. These commonly take place on a Sunday for up to 24 hours and limited replacements are available. Further information are available on the Trenord Italy website. www.trenord.it/en/assistance/useful-information/

If possible I suggest travelling a day earlier or a day later to avoid any complications resulting from train strikes.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Jun 6, 2022 - 9:16 AM by Anna
marc in mass
marc in mass
3 posts
new member
Jun 6, 2022 - 1:30 PM

Many thanks for your replies, 1960man and Anna. It sounds like I need to look into traveling a day earlier or later. I hate to trim a night off our time on Lake Como, but crossing the Swiss border a day earlier might be our best solution.

marc in mass
marc in mass
3 posts
new member
Jun 9, 2022 - 7:10 PM

Following up...

Finding Saturday night accommodation on late notice in peak season is not easy. However, after more research, I believe we have a few options that allow us to keep our planned Sunday travel day.

The strike alert reads "ESCLUSO IL SERVIZIO DELLA LUNGA PERCORRENZA," (Excluding the long distance service), so I think the EuroCity trains from Milan to Spiez won't be affected by a Trenord strike. So, I can reserve that leg in advance as a refundable and exchangeable ticket. As per reaching Milan - my AirBnB host in Varenna suggested that:

a) A strike might not effect the early morning train(s) from Varenna.

b) We could take the ferry to Como and get a Swiss-operated train from Como to Milan, then continue to Spiez.

I believe we could also take the same Como-Milan train in the opposite direction. That is, the train starts in Milan. We hop on at Como and travel north past Chiasso, Lugano, Bellinzona, etc. to reach Interlaken and Spiez. This is a longer route, but it gets us across the Swiss border faster.

Anna
Anna
3747 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 10, 2022 - 7:22 AM in reply to marc in mass

Hi marc in mass,

Thanks for sharing these tips. Hope everything goes smoothly for you.

Please keep us updated.

Regards,

Anna

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