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).
- Trenitalia and Veolia-Transdev jointly operate the Paris - Milano night service and the Marseille - Milano day trains under the title Thello. SNCF alone operates the Paris - Milano day trains.
- 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, Ferrovie Emilia Romagna, 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. Some German is 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 slightly 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 issued twice yearly, in June and December. 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.
- Trenord: Timetables for individual local routes in the Milano area can be downloaded from the Trenord website, but this information is also provided in the Trenitalia timetable.
With effect from 15 June 2014 the "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.
Real Time Train Tracker
Engineering Information and Strikes
Engineering Work (Lavori): www.trenitalia.com and click on the following headings: "Informazioni per chi viaggia" > "Infomobilità" > "I lavori programmati". This gives details of engineering work month by month.
Strikes (Scioperi): www.trenitalia.com and click on the following headings: "Informazioni per chi viaggia" > "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.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport provides basic details of forthcoming strikes.
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.
- “Atlante ferroviaro d'Italia e Slovenia” (ISBN 978-3-89494-129-1) published by Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH in German and Italian, shows railways at 1:300.000 scale, similar to atlases from the same publisher for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
- European Railway Atlas: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece by M.G. Ball (1991) (ISBN 0-7110-2087-6)
- European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)
- 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
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 and which show 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. 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.
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.
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.
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. Reservations are not possible on Regional trains.
A useful regional ticket is available for the Lombardia region www.trasporti.regione.lombardia.it. Select Tariffe e agevolazioni > io Viaggio > Io viaggio ovunque in Lombardia to obtain details of the ticket. This is available for one month (Abbonamento mensile integrato) and for 1, 2, 3 or 7 (Biglietti integrati per 1, 2, 3 o 7 giorni) days. Information on its validity is found by selecting Tariffe e agevolazioni > Carta Regionale di Trasporto > Mezzi di trasporto e validità della CRT. A PDF map showing the area covered can be found on the Trenord website.
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.
Tickets for private (non-FS) 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.
- 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 major stations. 40% of the company is owned by Eurostazioni SpA, a joint venture of SNCF, Pirelli, Benneton and Caltagirone.
- Centostazioni is responsible for medium sized stations.
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. .
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
Ferrotramviaria S.p.A.: Bari - Bitonto - Barletta (via Palese and via Aerostazione); Fesca S Girolama - Cecilia (all electrified). The passenger service between Ruvo and Andria has been suspended since 2016. www.ferrovienordbarese.it
Ferrovia Adriatico Sangritana 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.sangritana.it
Ferrovia Centrale Umbra S.r.l.: Terni - Perugia - Sansepolcro; Perugia Ponte S Giovanni - Perugia S Anna. All passenger services have been suspended since September 2017 and management of the line is being transferred to RFI.
Ferrovia Circumetnea: Catania Borgo - Randazzo - Riposto (950mm gauge). Also operates the Catania Metro (standard gauge, electrified). www.circumetnea.it
Ferrovia Circumvesuviana S.r.l.: Local lines south and east of Napoli (950mm gauge, electrified at 1500 V dc) www.eavsrl.it/web/content/orario-ferrovia
Ferrovia del Gargano: 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). The service is suspended between Genzano and Avigliano Lucania www.fal-srl.it
Ferrovie della Calabria S.r.l.: Passenger train services operate between Catanzaro Lido, Catanzaro Città and Soveria Mannelli only. No service is advertised on other lines: Cosenza to Soveria Mannelli and S Giovanni in Fiore and Gioia Tauro to Sinopoli and Cinquefrondi, apart from a tourist operation between Moccone - San Nicola Silvana Mansio on the line to S Giovanni in Fiore. www.ferroviedellacalabria.it
Ferrovie della Sardegna: Passenger services 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. http://arst.sardegna.it/index.html
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.
GTT S.p.A. (Gruppo Torinese Trasporti): Torino Dora - Ceres (electrified); Settimo - Rivarolo Canavese (electrified); Rivarolo Canavese – Pont Canavese (service suspended); Sassi – Superga (electrified rack railway) www.gtt.to.it
MetroCampania NordEast S.r.l.: S Maria Capua Vetere - Piedimonte Matese, Cancello - Benevento (electrified) www.eavsrl.it/web/mcne
SAD Trasporto Locale S.p.A/SAD Nahverkehr GmbH: Merano/Meran – Malles Venosta/Mals; Maria Himmelfahrt/L'Assunta - Klobenstein/Collalbo (electrified tramway) www.sii.bz.it
Sistemi Territoriali S.p.A.: Venezia Mestre – Adria www.sistemiterritorialispa.it
Società per l'Esercizio di Pubblici Servizi S.p.A.: Napoli Montesanto - Torregaveta; Napoli Montesanto - Licola - Torregaveta (electrified) www.eavsrl.it/web/content/orario-ferrovia
Società Ferrovie Udine Cividale s.r.I.: Udine - Cividale del Friuli www.ferrovieudinecividale.it
Società Subalpina di Imprese Ferroviare S.p.A.: Domodossola - Camedo [- Locarno (CH)] (metre gauge, electrified 1200V dc) www.vigezzina.com
Società Suburbana FBV: Casalecchio di Reno - Vignola (electrified; operated by Ferrovie Emilia Romagna) www.tper.it/content/linea-ferroviaria-bologna-casalecchio-vignola-bologna-borgo-panigale-casalecchio-zola
Trasporto Ferroviario Toscano S.p.A.: Sinalunga - Arezzo - Pratovecchio Stia (electrified) www.trasportoferroviariotoscano.it
Trasporto Passeggeri Emilia-Romagna S.p.A. 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)
Trenord S.r.l is a joint venture between FNM 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) www.ttspa.it
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/www.lerotaie.com/home.html
See also Ferrovie della Sardegna
The railway museum at Trieste Campo Marzio www.retecivica.trieste.it/museofer has occasionally run historic trains over freight lines in Trieste, but appears not to have done so since 2014. In 2017 it was announced that the museum is to be renovated and managed by Fondazione FS, who wish to run special trains from it.
Catania, Genova, Milano, Napoli, Roma, Torino. Track plans for the Milano and Torino systems are available on the carto.metro.tramway.rer.funiculaire site.
Some Trenitalia suburban services are referred to "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.
Firenze, Genova, Messina [April 2019 - services resumed running Monday - Friday only], Milano, Napoli, Palermo, Ritten (See Ferrovia del Renon above), 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.
Electrification is under way during 2016 on the 18km between Bra and Alba. The Emilia-Romagna Region allocated funds in April 2016 to do likewise on the FER lines between Reggio Emilia and Sassuolo and Guastalla, as did the Bolzano Province for the Merano - Malles Venosta line.
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. Another new section of the Ventimiglia to Genova line between San Lorenzo-Cipressa and Andora opened 11 December 2016.
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 is used by FNM trains, as well as Trenitalia ones, by means of a connection from Nord Bovisa Politecnico. Some trains continue to Pioltello Limito and others from Porta Vittoria via a reinstated curve to Milano Rogoredo. Opening of the Passante has been 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 has taken over operation of many local services in Lombardia.
Other recent openings and re-openings (excluding realignment and rebuilding of main lines) are:
- 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
- Palermo - Punta Raisi: Re-opened 9 December 2018, following substantial reconstruction, including a new tunnel in Palermo.
- Through trains from Slovenia to Trieste Centrale via Villa Opicina resumed on 9 September 2018.
- Varese - Stabio (Switzerland) and Porto Ceresio
- Sacile - Maniago: 10 December 2017
- Roccapalumbra-Alla - Cammarate San Giovanni Gemini (diversion of the Palermo - Agrigento line via the Lercara Tunnel): 10 December 2017
- Ospedale S Paolo - Cecilia (FT): 16 October 2017
- Malpensa Aeroporto T1 - Malpensa Aeroporto T2 (FNM): 6 December 2016
- Portomaggiore - Dogato (FER): 3 October 2016, but the service was withdrawn from 11 June 2017
- Marilleva - Mezzana (TT): 23 July 2016
- Apricena Città - San Nicandro Garganico (FdG): 13 June 2016 (Replacing the original line from S Severo)
- Fesca S Girolamo - Aerostazione - Bitonto (FT): 19 July 2013
- S Severo - Apricena Città (FdG): 14 December 2014
A line avoiding Foggia, on the course of a curve closed in 1964, opened on 5 July 2015. This links the Benevento and Bari lines and passenger trains started using it with effect from 28 June 2017; see route IT20/146. With effect from 11 March 2016, excursion trains to Porto Empedocle (in Sicily) were extended 0.7 km to Porto Empedocle Succarsale, which was closed in 1978; see route IT20/162.
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). In April 2015 funds were allocated for completion of the first section (Valle Aurelia - Vigna Clara) of the never completed Roma northern ring line. It was due to open in June 2016 but there is no sign of when this will happen. 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. No date for completion has been specified.
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.
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 were no trains between Laconi and Sorgono in 2018 and the closed section of the Arbatax line has been extended to Sadali.
The trains between Sassari and Alghero were replaced by buses from October 2018, because of defects with the signalling system. The line is heavily used and funds are reported to be allocated for improvements, but it is not clear how long it will be before trains can resume.
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)
Train service withdrawals in 2017:
- - Rivarolo Canavese - Pont Canavese (GTT) (23 May): May be temporary, but signalling improvements are required.
- - Portomaggiore - Dogato (FER) (11 June): Amazingly, this newly-constructed line had opened only eight months earlier, but is to be converted into a cycle path.
- 26 Tortona - Novi Ligure (4 September): Said to be a temporary closure for a period of four years, in connection with construction of a high-speed line between Milano and Genova.
- - Sansepolcro - Terni and Perugia Ponte S Giovanni - Perugia S Anna (FCU) (29 September): Also apparently a temporary closure.
- - Cagnano Varano - Peschici Calenella (FG) (2 December): A result of many unmodernised level crossings on the line. However, the company apparently intends to modernise them and reopen the line at some point.
Train service withdrawals in 2015:
- 60 Ancona - Ancona Marittima (13 December)
- 112 Aosta - Prè Saint Didier (24 December)
The 950mm ATAC line from Roma Laziali to Giardinetti was cut back 3km to terminate at Centocelle with effect from 3 August 2015 as this section was duplicated by an extension of Metro Line C.
Train service withdrawals in 2014:
- 130 (Novara -) Vignale - Varallo Sesia (15 September)
- 88/354 Paola avoiding line (21 December)
Train service withdrawals in 2013:
- 330 Benevento - Bosco Redole (13 February) because of a landslide
- 125 Vercelli - Casale Monferrato (14 June)
- 286 Fabriano - Pergola (13 November) because of a landslide; the line had re-opened as recently as 16 April 2012
- 134 Oleggio - Laveno Mombello (December) but had suffered from bus substitution in recent years
- 157 Piacenza – Castelvetro (December) which had suffered frequent cancellations because of a shortage of units
- M56 Pisa Aeroporto - Pisa Centrale (December) for replacement by a more direct people mover, which did not open until 18 March 2017
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. As at June 2018 there is still no indication of when or if the line will reopen.
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 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 October 2016, if not earlier, there were no passenger trains between Ruvo di Puglia and Andria, pending signalling improvements. The line between Ruvo di Puglia and Corato re-opened in March 2019, but it appears that there is no date for re-opening to Andria.
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 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.