Italy - General Information
National Railway System
Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A. (FS).
National Railway Operators
- Società Trenitalia S.p.A., generally known just as Trenitalia, is the government-owned company with operational and commercial responsibility for most passenger and freight train operations.
- Most regional services in Lombardia (whether on RFI or FNM-LeNord tracks) are managed by Trenord, a joint venture between Trenitalia and LeNord, which is part of the FNM group (see Private Railways).
- Day trains between Paris and Milano are operated by SNCF, but Trenitalia plans a rival service.
- International day trains via Brennero are jointly operated by DB, ÖBB and FNM.
- Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatore S.p.A, trading as Italo is an open access operator of high-speed services, principally Torino, Milano and Venezia to Roma, Napoli and Salerno.
Some smaller railway companies, including Ferrovia Adriatico Sangritana, Ferrovia del Gargano, SAD Trasporto Locale S.p.A/SAD Nahverkehr GmbH, GTT and MetroCampania NordEast, work passenger services over RFI lines. They mostly provide local services in the vicinity of their own lines. An increasing number of operators work freight trains in Italy.
Italian. German is widely spoken in the Alto Adige (Süd Tirol) region, and some French in the Valle d'Aosta.
- FS: numeric 83; alpha I
- Società del Gruppo FNM: numeric 64; alpha FNM
- FS: The Trenitalia journey planner used to steer the user towards more expensive high speed services wherever possible. However it is now possible to select 'ALL TRAINS', 'FRECCE' (high speed services) or 'REGIONAL'. Choosing Regional for a main line journey may provide the option of using the slower but often considerably cheaper RV (Regio Veloce) trains for a journey between two cities.
The "Biglietto Veloce/Fast Ticket" machines provided at main stations are a very useful means of (re)planning a journey 'on the hoof' if travellers need to change their plans.
- Lombardia: Use the Trenord journey planner for services in Lombardia as it gives regional services, especially those using the Milano Passante, which are not shown at all on the FS journey planner.
- FS: Timetables, titled as In Treno, are shown as valid June to December or December to June, but since 2020 have been revised and reissued every 4-6 weeks. This allows variations due to engineering work to be included, but long-distance trains may be shown as running only for a few months even though they are a fairly permanent feature of the timetable. National and regional timetables can be downloaded from the Orario Ferroviario page of the Trenitalia website. New timetables are not normally available until the day they become valid or only a few days in advance.
- Trenord: Timetables for individual local routes in the Milano area can be downloaded from the Trenord website - scroll down the page for the list of tables. This information is also provided in the Trenitalia timetable.
- BusItalia operates some rail services in Umbria around Perugia BusItalia - Servizi ferroviari
With effect from 15 June 2014 "In Treno Tutt'Italia", which is the official Trenitalia timetable, was discontinued in printed format.
A printed timetable for Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca services called "Orario Le Frecce" is available, at no cost, from ticket offices.
The only comprehensive paper timetable, "Orario Veltropalagi", ceased being published in June 2019.
Additional Notes on reading the Timetable
Two useful symbols exist which show the booked route for trains not calling at a station: in the middle of the train column, a vertical bar "|" means that the train passes through the station without stopping, whereas a dot "." means that the train does not pass through that station but instead takes a different route.
Long-distance trains, particularly overnight ones, can be subject to numerous variations in schedule, so may appear multiple times in tables. Notes indicating dates on which each schedule applies can be very complicated and sometimes contradictory, showing a train both running and not running on the same night.
Real Time Train Tracker
Engineering Information and Strikes
Engineering Work (Lavori): www.trenitalia.com and click on the following headings: "Infomobilità" > "Viaggiatreno" > "Programmed Changes" . This gives details of engineering work month by month, split by region. Plus, under the heading "Modifiche Programmata alla Circolazione", it is possible to search for timetable changes, by region, between defined dates.
Strikes (Scioperi): www.trenitalia.com and click on the following headings: "Infomobilità" > "In caso di sciopero" to display information on forthcoming strikes. A certain minimum number of trains, essentially for travel to and from work/school, and guaranteed by law ("Servizi essenziali in caso di sciopero (legge 12 giugno 1990, n.146)") to run on strike days, are also listed in this section.
Note that bus services listed in the timetable may use a nearby bus station or bus stop rather than calling at the FS station. This is not always made clear in the timetable and it is advisable to check at the station. The relevant bus stop can be identified by a "fermata FS" sign.
BusItalia operates buses in some regions;
It also operates some rail services in Umbria around Perugia;
- Atlante ferroviaro d'Italia e Slovenia / Eisenbahnatlas Italien und Slowenien by Schweers + Wall.
- European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball.
- European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - Italy) by M.G. Ball.
- The Touring Club Italiano publishes extremely attractive 1:200.000 sheet maps and atlases which depict railways to a very high standard. They are generally accurate, though some railways that have closed or are still under construction appear as if open. The three-volume road atlas includes 1:80.000 enlargements of the major urban areas, on which railways are depicted well. Touring Club Italiano publications are not sold at many stations, but can be obtained from good bookshops in Italy (or outlets such as Stanfords in London).
- Sporenplan has a small number of on-line schematic track diagrams. Click on "Sporenplannen" on the left hand side for a map showing the countries covered.
- Thorsten Büker's Italy Map, with enlargements for Milano, Roma and Napoli.
- Maps and Plans - Italy
Ordinary Tickets and Reservations
Reservations are compulsory on National service trains - defined as Frecciarossa Alta Velocità [Red Arrow High Speed], Frecciargento Alta Velocità [Silver Arrow High Speed], Frecciabianca [White Arrow], Intercity (IC), Intercity Notte [night] (ICN), EuroCity (EC) and EuroCity Notte (ECN). Overnight trains offer Excelsior Wagon Lit (sleeping) cars and National Couchettes (CC and WL). Boarding these trains without a ticket will incur payment of a surcharge in addition to the ticket price. It may not be possible to obtain a reservation on a particular train when using an Interrail pass or a ticket at a discounted fare. The number of seats made available for holders of such tickets may be limited and there may even be none at all on busy trains. Reservations are not possible on Regional trains but since 28 October 2023, any Regional ticket purchased in advance on line that does not have a barcode is clearly marked "Not Valid for Travel" and needs to be validated on the day of travel using the the link in the confirmation of purchase e-mail.
Tickets and reservations issued in Italy must be validated before use by stamping them in "obliteratrici", green machines (or possibly yellow for the older remaining ones) at stations: it is not possible to buy or stamp them on board a train. Having an unstamped ticket or none at all will require payment of the full ticket price plus a fine. However it is not unusual for these machines to be broken or out of service ("fuori servizio"). In that event it is acceptable for travellers to self-validate the ticket, using indelible ink to write on it the date, time and departure station, and tearing the ticket slightly. It is not necessary to validate tickets (i) bought on line with a barcode showing a specific train (time and date) or (ii) which include a reservation and can only be used on a specified train.
Tickets for Trenitalia regional trains are valid for only one day and for only four hours from the time of validation - but see 'Promo Plus' below. Passengers can continue to their destination on the same train if still travelling when the four hours expire. If a ticket was purchased in advance it can be changed for one valid on a different date, but this must be done before its validity starts; there may be a charge for this.
FS introduced in March 2019 a combined train+bus ticket between Roma Termini and Ciampino Airport, linked to the ATRAL bus company. This avoids the unreliability of the direct coach services and was at the time of introduction cheaper than the coach.
Passengers holding international return tickets issued in Italy are required to have them stamped by the train conductor upon re-entering the country. Tickets may be used any time up to two months from date of sale, but are valid for a much shorter period from time of stamping. Those for journeys less than 200 km are valid for 6 hours from the time of stamping; those for 200 km or more for 24 hours.
Many smaller stations no longer have staffed booking offices or may be staffed for only a limited period. Ticket machines may be provided but not always; it may be necessary to purchase tickets from a neighbouring tobacconist (Tabacchi), bar or similar establishment, which may be some distance from the station. A list of these is usually posted at the station. Ticket machines too may be broken or out of service. Some ticket machines give change in coins but others give only a credit slip, printed on a blank ticket. These credits can be exchanged for cash at any FS booking office or used to purchase further tickets. This can be somewhat time consuming as the transaction has to be keyed into the system, evidence of identity (such as a passport) presented and a receipt signed.
Tickets for other railways are rarely if ever available from FS ticket offices. If the railway does not have its own ticket office, tickets are normally available from a neighbouring tobacconist (Tabacchi), bar or similar establishment. Prospective travellers are strongly advised to look at the railway's website for a list of such establishments, as there may well be no indication on the premises that they sell these tickets.
Trenitalia offers a very useful 3-day and 5-day pass valid on almost all Trenitalia regional trains; see below for exceptions. Go to the Trenitalia website. Select Advanced Search to the left of the SEARCH box and then Other Services at the bottom of the page. Select the Promo (only Regional trains) button. Italia in Tour 3- and 5- day passes can be purchased for an adult or child (ragazzo). However, note that this ticket is not valid on any train in Lombardia or the province of Bolzano, and is valid only on trains operated by Trenitalia or TrenitaliaTper. This information is correct as at November 2023, but the conditions could change, so it is strongly advised to check the current conditions. Note that these are only in Italian.
A useful regional ticket is available for the Lombardia region Regione Lombardia io viaggio ovunque in Lombardia - biglietti. Select ● "Descrizione” to obtain details of the ticket ● “Quando” for when it is available (1, 2, 3 or 7 consecutive days) or ● “Como Accedere” for details of how to buy it. Under "Allegati", “Mappa del Servizio Ferroviario Regionale” gives a PDF map showing the area covered by the ticket and “Travel card to get around Lombardia on public transport” gives brief details in English. Note: the 1-3 day COP (CHIP ON PAPER) tickets issued by ticket machines must be validated using the 'contactless' validators and not the old ones which print the station name and date/time on the ticket.
- RFI S.p.A., generally known as Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, is responsible for infrastructure.
- TAV S.p.A. is responsible for development of high speed routes; TAV denotes Treno Alta Velocita.
- Italferr, the Italian State Railways Group engineering firm, operates in the Italian and international markets in the field of railway transport engineering.
- Grandi Stazioni S.p.A. is responsible for fourteen major stations. 40% of the company is owned by Eurostazioni SpA, a joint venture of SNCF, Pirelli, Benneton and Caltagirone.
The Network Statement page gives access to downloadable Network Statements. These give very general information. Specific information about the network is provided on a website with restricted access.
Standard. Some private lines are narrow gauge.
3kV dc. The majority of the Torino – Novara – Milano – Bologna – Firenze and Roma – Napoli high speed lines are electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz, as is Milano – Verona – Padova - still under construction. Milan Metro Lines 2 and 3 are overhead electrified at 1500 V dc, Lines 1, 4 and 5 are 750 V dc fourth/third/third rail.
Rule of the road
The best source of information on distances is the "Atlante ferroviaro d'Italia e Slovenia". See Printed Maps.
Distances for individual FS lines are also available at https://normativaesercizio.rfi.it/Default.aspx
ARST S.p.A: Passenger services on narrow-gauge lines in Sardegna. Operating throughout the year: Sassari - Sorso; Sassari - Alghero; Nuoro - Macomer; Cagliari - Isili. (950mm gauge). See Sardegna obscure services for details of summer services over some other lines. arst.sardegna.it/index.html
Ente Autonomo Volturno E.A.V. S.r.l has brought together various operators in the Napoli area. S Maria Capua Vetere - Piedimonte Matese, Cancello - Benevento; Circumvesuviana lines south and east of Napoli (950mm gauge, electrified at 1500 V dc); Linee Flegree lines Napoli - Licola and Torregaveta; Metro Arcobaleno. www.eavsrl.it/web
Ferrotramviaria S.p.A.: Bari - Bitonto - Barletta (via Palese and via Aerostazione); Fesca S Girolama - Cecilia (all electrified). Passenger services to Barletta were suspended following a serious collision in 2016 and although doubling of single track sections completed by 3 April 2023, trains still only run from Bari to Andria Sud with buses to/from Barletta as the line through Andria is being dropped into tunnel. That work is due to be completed by 30 June 2024. www.ferrovienordbarese.it
Ferrovia Circumetnea: Catania Borgo - Randazzo - Riposto (950mm gauge). Also operates the Catania Metro (standard gauge, electrified). www.circumetnea.it
Ferrovia del Gargano S.r.l.: San Severo - Peschici (electrified); Foggia - Lucera www.ferroviedelgargano.com
Ferrovia Genova Casella S.r.l.: Genova Piazza Manin - Casella (metre gauge, electrified) www.ferroviagenovacasella.it
Ferrovie Appulo-Lucane: Bari Centrale - Gravina in Puglia - Avigliano Luciana; Potenza Citta - Avigliano Citta; Altamura – Matera Sud (950 mm gauge). There has been no through rail service between Gravina in Puglia and Avigliano Lucania for many years, see Recent changes for what sections are operating. www.fal-srl.it
Ferrovie della Calabria S.r.l.: Passenger train services operate between Catanzaro Lido, Catanzaro Città and Soveria Mannelli, and Marzi via Rogliano to Cosenza with a FdC bus replacement from Soveria Mannelli to Rogliano [Note: calling at Marzi but not at the station]. No train service apart from a steam tourist operation between Moccone and San Nicola Silvana Mansio on the closed line to S Giovanni in Fiore. FdC buses cover services on the closed lines from Gioia Tauro to Sinopoli and Cinquefrondi, www.ferroviedellacalabria.it
Ferrovie del Sud Est e Servizi Automobolistici S.r.l.: Bari - Martina-Franca - Taranto; Mungivacca - Casamassima - Putignano; Martina-Franca - Lecce; Novoli - Gallipoli - Casarano; Nardo - Casanaro - Gagliano-Leuca; Lecce - Gagliano-Leuca; Nardo - Zollino; Maglie – Otranto www.fseonline.it. The railway has been a subsidiary of Trenitalia since August 2016.
Gruppo Torinese Trasporti GTT S.p.A.: Torino Dora - Ceres (electrified); Settimo - Rivarolo Canavese (electrified); Rivarolo Canavese – Pont Canavese (service suspended); Sassi – Superga (electrified rack railway). Since 1 January 2021 the Rivarolo Canavese service has been operated by Trenitalia. www.gtt.to.it
Rete Ferroviaria Toscana (RTF) S.p.A.: Sinalunga - Arezzo - Pratovecchio Stia (electrified). The service is operated by Trasporto Ferroviario Toscano S.p.A. www.trasportoferroviariotoscano.it
SAD Trasporto Locale S.p.A/SAD Nahverkehr GmbH: Merano/Meran – Malles Venosta/Mals; Maria Himmelfahrt/L'Assunta - Klobenstein/Collalbo (electrified tramway). The company operates local trains on RFI lines in the Bozen/Bolzano area. www.sad.it/it
Società Ferrovie Udine Cividale s.r.I.: Udine - Cividale del Friuli. The company also operates a limited service over RFI and ÖBB lines between Trieste and Villach. www.ferrovieudinecividale.it
Società Sistemi Territoriali S.p.A.: Venezia Mestre – Adria www.sistemiterritorialispa.it
Società Subalpina di Imprese Ferroviare S.p.A.: Domodossola - Camedo [- Locarno (CH)] (metre gauge, electrified 1200V dc). In recent years the trading name Ferrovia Vigezzina-Centovalli has been used. www.vigezzina.com
Società Unica Abruzzese di Trasporto (TUA) S.p.A.: Operates passenger services over its own new railway between Lanciano and San Vito-Lanciano and over the Teramo - Giulianova - Pescara and Pescara - San Vito-Lanciano - Vasto FS lines. Services on its other routes (including the lengthy line to Castel di Sangro) have been replaced by buses or withdrawn entirely. www.tuabruzzo.it
Trenitalia TPER is a joint venture between Trenitalia and Trasporto Passeggeri Emilia-Romagna. It operates passenger services over the lines of Ferrovie Emilia Romagna: Casalecchio Garibaldi - Vignola (electrified); Bologna Centrale - Portomaggiore (electrified); Ferrara - Codigoro; Ferrara - Poggio Rusco (electrified); Parma - Suzzara - Poggio Rusco; Guastalla - Reggio Emilia - S Lazzaro; Reggio Emilia - Ciano d'Enza; Reggio Emilia - Sassuolo; Modena - Sassuolo (electrified). It also operates local trains over RFI lines in Emilia Romagna region and the Marconi Express people mover between Bologna Aeroporto and Bologna Centrale station. www.tper.it
Trenord S.r.l is a joint venture between Ferrovienord S.p.A. and Trenitalia, which operates regional services in Lombardia. FNM (previously Ferrovie Nord Milano) owns the following lines: Milano Nord Cadorno - Asso; Milano Bovisa - Laveno Mombello Nord; Saronno - Como Nord Lago; Saronno - Novara; Saronno - Seregno; Busto Arsizio - Malpensa Aeroporto (all electrified); Brescia - Edolo; Bornato-Calino - Rovato. www.trenord.it
Trentino Trasporti S.p.A: Trento - Mezzana (metre gauge, electrified). The company operates some of the local trains on the RFI line between Trento and Bassano del Grappa. www.ttspa.it
Umbria TPL e Mobilità S.p.A.: Terni - Perugia - Sansepolcro; Train services were replaced by buses in September 2017, pending upgrading the network, and resumed on 25 October 2018 between Perugia Ponte S Giovanni and Città di Castello on the Sansepolcro line. www.umbriamobilita.it (Website under construction). Train services between Perugia Ponte S Giovanni - Perugia S Anna resumed on 13 September 2022. These reinstated rail services are operated by BusItalia .
Many private railways operate through services onto FS lines, and there are a few private lines over which FS trains regularly operate.
- Ceva - Ormea www.piemontevic.com/viaggi-treno-storico-valle-tanaro.html
- Palazzolo-sull'Oglio - Paratico-Sarnico www.ferrovieturistiche.it
- Asciano - Monte-Antico www.ferrovieturistiche.it
- Moccone – S Nicola-Silvana Mansio www.trenodellasila.it/
- Sulmona - Isernia (but often only to Roccaraso) www.lerotaie.com
- San Marino - Treno Bianco Azzurro. Occasional operation over ~800 m restored section of the Rimini - San Marino 950 mm gauge 3 kV dc electrified interurban line.
See also Ferrovie della Sardegna
This blog gives an exhaustive list of excursions, some of which may well run over lines with no regular passenger service.
The Fondazione FS website lists their excursions, some of which may well run over lines with no regular passenger service.
Catania, Genova, Milano, Napoli, Roma, Torino. Track plans for the Milano and Torino systems are available on the carto.metro.tramway.rer.funiculaire site.
The opening of the new 15 km Milano Metro line M4 has been delayed with sections opening in 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Some Trenitalia suburban services are referred to as "Metro" and this may give rise to confusion, particularly in Napoli.
The Roma Metro company also operates the lengthy rural line to Viterbo via Catalano.
Bergamo, Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Firenze, Genova, Klobenstein/Collalbo, Messina, Milano, Napoli, Palermo, Roma, Sassari, Torino, Trieste [which has been plagued by reliability issues and has been closed since 16 August 2016]
Some links are available on the Sinfin.net site.
Recent and Future Changes
The absorption of the Ferrovie Sud Est by the Ferrovie dello Stato Group was agreed on 23 May 2016 owing to the excessive debts of the former.
Most main lines in Italy are electrified and work continues on electrification of secondary routes. Work under way includes the line to Campobasson and various routes in the Salerno area and in Veneto province. The SAD line to Malles Venosta is also being electrified, as are FER lines in Emilia-Romagna.
Due to the mountainous nature of much of Italy, most lines are very scenic. However, the original railways were very slow, due to sharp curves and steep gradients. For much of the 20th century, cut offs and completely new main lines were built to speed up services. Foremost among these is the Roma - Firenze direttissima. Unlike high-speed lines in France and Germany, this does not have special signalling and can be used by most trains without modification. The high speed trunk line from Torino to Salerno is now complete, with the openings on 13 December 2009 between Novara and Milano, Milano and Bologna, Bologna and Firenze and between Napoli and Salerno, and the extension of the Roma - Napoli line from Gricignano into Napoli. The direct connection between the Roma - Napoli and Napoli - Salerno high speed lines, avoiding Napoli Centrale, became available for traffic on 13 October 2013.
The Bologna Passante, taking the high speed under Bologna Centrale, opened on 22 June 2012. The AV station on the Passante opened with limited facilities in December 2012 and fully in 2013. The next section of the High Speed Line from Milano to Venezia, from Treviglio to Brescia, opened in December 2016. The high speed line west of Brescia to Padova is still under construction. Contracts have been awarded for design and construction of a high speed line from Napoli to Frasso Telesino, between Caserta and Benevento. This is seen as the first stage of a high speed route to Bari. There is an ambitious plan for a new line, in a long tunnel under Mont Cenis, to link Torino with Lyon and the French high speed network, but this is many years from realisation.
Many other cut-offs and new lines are under construction, but work may proceed slowly and some projects are suspended periodically. Routes that include sections which have been rebuilt and diverted significantly in recent years include: Verona to Brennero, Gemona del Friuli to Tarvisio, Ventimiglia to Genova, Parma to La Spezia, parts of the Adriatic coast line, Bari to Taranto, Messina to Palermo and the railway into Siracusa from the north.
Recent urban developments have been construction of metros in Torino and Catania, a tram system in Sassari and a new railway, the Passante, in tunnel under the centre of Milano. The Passante runs from Certosa to Porta Vittoria and has a connection from the FNM line at Nord Bovisa Politecnico. Some trains continue to Pioltello Limito and others from Porta Vittoria via a reinstated curve to Milano Rogoredo. Full opening of the Passante in 2008 was accompanied by a reorganisation of local train services around Milano, including re-introduction of regular trains between Milano S Cristoforo and Milano Lambrate via Porta Romana. FNM operates many local services in Lombardia in a joint venture with Trenitalia known as Trenord.
Other recent openings and re-openings (excluding realignment and rebuilding of main lines) are:
- The next 2 km of Milan Metro line M4, from Dateo to San Babila, opened on 4 July 2023.
- The first 5 km of Milan Metro line M4, from Dateo to Linate City Airport, opened on 26 November 2022.
- The former Ferrovia Centrale Umbra (FCU) branch from Perugia Ponte S Giovanni to Perugia S Anna re-opened on 13 September 2022, after some 5 years of closure for rebuilding, with diesel trains operated by BusItalia, but completion of electrification is to take some months longer.
- A 7 km section of the Roma ring, between Valle Aurelia to Vigna Clara, reopened on 13 June 2022 after 32 years.
- Genzano - San Nicola (FAL) re-opened on 31 December 2020 but to note by at least 12 December 2021 this was operating as an isolated section as both Genzano to Gravina in Puglia, [which had only re-opened on 24 January 2018], and long term suspended San Nicola to Avigliano Lucania were bustituted! From FAL website News articles this may have been from 30 April 2020 and as at August 2023 there is no information on their website of any planned re-opening dates.
- Termoli - Campobasso: Re-opened 9 August 2020 following upgrading.
- Cagnano Verano - Peschichi-Calenella (FdG): Re-opened 25 July 2020 following level crossing upgrading.
- In Naples Tram line 1 resumed operation between Poggioreale and via Cristoforo Colombo on 31 January 2020. The rest of Tram Line 1 and Lines 2 & 4 are still suspended due to construction of Metro Line 6.
- Castiglione Cosentino avoiding line: One train pair daily from and to Sibari from 16 September 2019.
- The electrification of the Bari - Casamassima - Putignano line 1 bis was inaugurated on 12 September 2019.
- Savigliano - Saluzzo: 7 January 2019 (but service withdrawn in 2020 as a result of Covid-19)
- Palermo - Punta Raisi: Re-opened 9 December 2018, following substantial reconstruction, including a new tunnel in Palermo.
- The section of former Ferrovia Centrale Umbra (FCU) between Perugia Ponte S Giovanni and Città di Castello reopened on 25 October 2018.
- Through trains from Slovenia to Trieste Centrale via Villa Opicina resumed on 9 September 2018.
- Varese - Stabio (Switzerland) and Porto Ceresio
The Ferrovie della Calabria reportedly awarded a contract in July 2014 for the construction of a new 5 km line between Dulcino and Catanzaro Germaneto (the FS station outside the city).
The Ferrovie della Calabria awarded a contract in March 2019 for the reconstruction of the 32km between Marzi and Soveria Mannelli, the 'missing link' in the Cosenza - Catanzaro line, which has been closed since 2010 owing to three landslides between Parenti and Celsita. Reopening is planned for mid-2024.
In December 2016 funds were allocated for completion of the line from Ferrandina (between Potenza and Metaponto) and Matera, where construction work started in 1985. RFI launched a 310 million Euro tender in 2022 to complete the line. Under the proposed schedule the line should be open by 2026.
In December 2022 RFI awarded a €428m contract for construction of an 8 km line to Venezia Marco Polo Airport. It will have a triangular junction with the Venezia Mestre – Trieste main line and then follow the alignment of the airport access motorway.
In June 2023 RFI awarded a contract for the renovation of the remaining closed sections of the FCU lines closed in 2017, namely Perugia - Terni and Città di Castello - San Sepolcro. The lines should reopen in 2026.
After a period of stability, there were significant line closures from 2006, mainly because of infrastructure in poor condition and no funds for maintenance. A few lines have closed and been re-opened, but most have remained closed. In most cases a substitute bus service has been provided, but some of these have later been withdrawn. In recent years the rate of closure has slowed somewhat.
Lines can be closed for extended periods for electrification work. Current and forthcoming electrification closures include:
- 226 Montebelluno - Feltre: February to September 2023
- 226 Feltre - Belluno: Summer 2023
- 227 Montebelluno - Treviso: Summer 2023
- 113 Ivrea - Aosta: 2024 to 2026
- 313 Isernia - Campobasso: Expected to reopen December 2023
- 330 Mercato S Severino - Avellino - Benevento: Probably reopening to Avellino in 2024 and to Benevento in 2025
- A section of the Ferrovia Trento-Malè (FTM) line to Mezzana, from Trento FTM to a proposed Trento Nord station, is likely to close in early April 2023 to enable construction work to start on the RFI Trento bypass line.
- 430 Formigine - Sassuolo [The end of the TPER ex ATCM branch from Modena] closed for infrastructure works from July 2022, with planned re-opening in December 2023.
- 226 Ponte nelle Alpi-Polpet - Calalzo-Pieve is closed March to December 2023 (but open for a period during the summer) for engineering work.
- 283 Montespescali - Monte Antico - Buonconvento was closed on 16 January 2023 for work to repair storm damage in December 2022 between Buonconvento and Monte Antico. It is likely to remain closed until December 2023.
Services over the Ferroive del Sardegna lines Laconi - Sorgono and Seui - Arbatax were withdrawn from 24 June 2016, but were reinstated in 2017 except between Seui and Gairo. However, there have been no trains between Laconi and Sorgono since 2018. After several years of limited services on parts of the Bosa Marina line there were no trains in 2022.
The trains between Sassari and Alghero were replaced by buses from October 2018, because of defects with the signalling system. It reopened on 23 November 2019.
Train service withdrawals in 2022:
- 434 Bologna Rovieri - Bologna Centrale: Closed December 2022 and to be replaced by an underground line planned to open in 2025
- The last 11.6 km, Milan - Limbiate, section of the city's Interurban Tramway closed on 30 September 2022, due to ongoing infrastructure safety concerns. Conversion to a double track light rail line is scheduled for 2024-2028, with 10 new low floor trams ordered for delivery in 2024.
- 280 Firenze Cascine - Firenze Porta al Prato (12 September)
- The Ferrovie della Calabria service between Catanzaro Lido and Catanzaro Città was suspended from 20 April 2022 to allow reconstruction work to start. Work on the section between Catanzaro Lido and Catanzaro Sala will include doubling and a new underground station at Santa Maria and will utilise part of the old standard gauge alignment between these stations. Reopening was originally planned for July 2023 but has slipped to 2024.
Train service withdrawals in 2021:
- 330 Benevento - Avellino - Mercato San Severino (12 December)
Train service withdrawals in 2020:
- 106 Savigliano - Saluzzo (last in the 28 June timetable, but not the 8 August reissue)
- 259 Cecina - Volterra Saline-Pomerance; Train service substituted by buses in summer 2020, for a line upgrade, but were not reinstated in autumn 2020. Replacement buses continue to run.
Train service withdrawals in 2018:
- 409 Rovato Borgo - Bornato Calino
- 4 Bologna Corticella - Bologna S Ruffillo (8 December): Use of this section of the Bologna Cintura by a few Frecciarossa trains ceased, following earlier completion of a link from the Padove line to the low level platforms at Bologna Centrale. This also brought to an end passenger use of the connection to the high speed line to Firenze from Bologna S Ruffillo.
- 172 Seregno - Carnate-Usmate (8 December)
FAL Services between (Gravina in Puglia -) Genzano and Pietragalla (- Potenza) (Ferrovie Appulo-Lucane) were substituted by buses from 24 June 2013 or earlier for engineering work which was then expected to last 6 or more months. From 15 December 2014 the section affected was extended from Pietragalla to Avigliano Lucania, with the line south of there served only by trains between Potenza and Avigliano Città. See openings for considerably later than suggested re-commencement dates...
Following the introduction of high-speed services between Milano and Napoli there is far less use of connections on and off the Firenze - Roma direttissima. The direttissima is being resignalled to ERTMS standards and there are plans to convert it from 3,000 volts dc to 25 kV ac, at least between Arezzo and Orte. This may well result in no further passenger use of connections to the old main line at Chiusi Nord, Chiusi Sud, Orvieto Nord, Orvieto Sud and Orte Nord.
For details of older changes see Italy - Older General Information.
Following a serious, head-on collision on the Ferrotramviaria line between Bari and Barletta, from September 2016 a 50 km/hr speed limit was imposed on some local (non-FS) lines which do not have an adequate block working system. From August 2016 there were no passenger trains between Ruvo di Puglia and Andria, pending signalling improvements. Ruvo di Puglia and Corato re-opened on 4 March 2019 and later to Andria Sud. Onwards to Barletta remains bustituted as the tracks through Andria are being dropped into tunnel.
Theft is a particular problem at main stations. Luggage should be closely watched at all times and precautions taken against pickpockets. Some thieves are very young and many operate in groups. A common technique is to create a distraction, such as engaging a traveller in conversation, to draw attention from robbery by accomplices. Crime can also be a problem on overnight trains, which may also be very crowded. It is sensible to book a couchette, at modest cost, as these provide more space and greater security.
Railway police will be found at all but local stations. They, or other Trenitalia staff, may raise objections to photography or waiting for trains on platforms, rather than in waiting rooms, and seem particularly keen to prevent anyone crossing the tracks where a subway ("sottopassagio") is provided. At some main stations access to platforms is confined to those with travel tickets, and tickets are sometimes checked at platform barriers.
At places served by private railways and Trenitalia interchange arrangements vary considerably. In certain cases there is significant integration and co-ordination of operations, but at some places connections seem unplanned and merely by chance, so trains may not wait for the other operator’s late running service. Private railways may use the FS station, but often have their own platforms and booking office (often private railway tickets are obtained from the station bar or café). Their services may not be listed on the Trenitalia arrivals and departures posters. There are entirely separate stations at a few places. Through tickets are usually available between private railways and Trenitalia, but some private railways do not issue return tickets for local journeys.
Departure information at stations, especially in the South, can be sparse and incorrect. Services operated by Ferrovie del Sud Est may vary from the published timetable, particularly south of Lecce. Trains depart at the advertised times, but passengers may be required to change trains at junctions where a through service is shown and, conversely, some connections may work as through trains.
There is a passenger and goods train ferry between Villa S Giovanni and Messina connecting the mainland system with railways on the island of Sicilia. Sardegna is no longer served by train ferry from Civitavecchia on the mainland to Golfo Aranci as the link span and associated trackwork at Civitavecchia were dismantled in Summer 2015. It had been used only for rolling stock transfers for a number of years previously. Any railway vehicles needing to be transferred to Sardegna are conveyed from Villa S Giovanni or Messina.
The Italian for "motor coach" is "pullman", so any reference to travel by pullman is to a trip by road. Although "carrozza" usually means a railway carriage, a journey advertised to be by carrozza (rather than by train) will use a horse-drawn road vehicle.
RFI owns the 1.27 km Vatican Railway, the world's shortest international railway, built by FS in accordance with the Lateran Treaty of 1929 and opened on 2 October 1934. Until recent years the railway had been used only very rarely by special trains, and with only four Papal trains ever - in 1962, 1979, 2002 and 2011. However, it was electrified as far as the Vatican gate in October 2013, which made it considerably easier to operate through trains from the FS network as it was no longer necessary to provide diesel haulage over this short branch. A special tourist train from the Vatican City to Albano Laziale was introduced in September 2015. See route Roma S Pietro - Città del Vaticano for further details.