Despite its location over the Swiss border, beautiful Lugano is close enough to Milan to be a commuter destination for the city.
As a consequence the most frequent trains on this route are the Regional services, which have been significantly improved in recent years.
They're also generally a cheaper option, particularly if you will buying tickets at the last minute, and if you'll be traveling with an InterRail or Eurail pass, you can take these trains and avoid the comparatively expensive rail pass reservation fees on the EC trains; connecting in Lugano for the other destinations in Switzerland served by those trains.
The other rail travel option is to take the EC (EuroCity) trains, but despite being 'express' trains, they are not any faster on this route.
The plus of taking them is that seat reservations are complimentary when booking tickets, so not only are the seats more comfortable, they will also be assigned.
The Regionale trains can be busy, particularly in the late afternoon and early evening.
When travelling between most cities by train there is only one logical option, though on other journeys there is a choice between different trains or alternative routes. If different options are available you can use the info to decide which is best for you.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.