The EC trains on the 'Gottardo' route between Zurich and Italian cities which travel via Lugano are being revised, with multiple new opportunities for connections.
One of the very welcome highlights of the updates to the European Rail Timetable back in December 2020, which got somewhat overlooked amidst the travel restrictions, was the introduction of direct EC trains between Zurich and destinations in Italy to the south of Milano.
A direct Zurich ↔ Venezia/Venice service had been introduced a few years ago, but the Switzerland ↔ Italy connections were enhanced by new direct trains in each direction between Zurich and both Bologna and Genova/Genoa.
These services to Bologna; Genova and Venezia all have very straightforward connections available from Basel and Luzern at Arth-Goldau station.
On the new timetable, which commences on December 12th and will be in place for most of 2022, the timings of these EC services on the Gottardo between Zurich and Italy have been adjusted.
More minor amendments are also being made to the trains on the Basel ↔ Milano ‘Simplon’ route via Bern and Brig
1: The direct train to Venezia/Venice, which also serves Brescia, Peschiera del Garda (for Lake Garda), Verona, Vicenza and Padova/Padua will now depart Zurich at 06:33 instead of at 10:33; and from Lugano at 08:32 instead of at 12:32.
It will arrive into Venezia S. Lucia station at 12:42 instead of at 16:42.
2: The direct train from Zurich to Bologna will depart from Zurich HB station at 08:33 (the Nightjet service from Amsterdam will be due into Zurich at 08:05) and from Lugano at 10:30, with an arrival into Bologna Centrale at 14:35.
3: The direct train to Genova/Genoa will be departing Zurich HB station at 10:33 instead of 08:33, and will leave from Lugano at 12:30 instead of at 10:30; with a new arrival time into Genova Piazza Principe station of 15:52.
4: The direct train from Frankfurt (Main) to Milano, which also calls at Basel (11:03) and Luzern (12:18), will be terminating at Porta Garibaldi station (at 15:55) in Milano instead of at Milano Centrale.
Accessing Milano Centrale will require a connection to be made at Como S. Giovanni, which will enable an arrival into the city’s main station at 16:17; though there will be a train from Basel SBB to Milano Centrale, which will be departing Basel only 35 mins sooner - see below.
In the other direction the train from Milano to Frankfurt (Main) via Basel will still depart from Milano Centrale
5: An additional fourth EC service will be available on the Basel – Olten – Bern – Thun – Speiz – Visp – Brig - Domodossola – Stresa – Milano route; it will depart from Basel SBB station at 10:28,
This is currently the departure time of the IC train from Basel to Domodossola, which enables Swiss Travel Pass users to access the Centovali Railway without the need to make reservations on the EC trains; so this IC train is being moved to depart at 08:28 (though it won’t head to Domodossola on Mondays).
1: From Venezia S. Lucia the train to Zurich will depart at 13:18 instead of at 17:18 with revised timings from Padova (13:46); Vicenza (14:04); Verona Porta Nuova (14:30); Peschiera del Garda (14:48) and Brescia (15:09)
Not only will it enable travelers to experience the beautiful journey through Switzerland in this direction by daylight, it will also offered enhanced connections on from Zurich HB station.
Thanks to an arrival time four hours earlier at 19:27 it will give the opportunity to connect into:
2: From Genova P. Principe the train to Zurich will be departing at 16:12, which will enable good connections from trains which are due into Genova at:
4: An additional fifth EC service will be available on the Milano – Stresa – Domodossola – Brig – Visp (for Zermatt) – Spiez (for Interlaken), Thun, Bern – Olten – Basel route, it will be departing Milano Centrale at 15:20.
Aside from the timings, what isn’t being altered on the new schedules is that the trains on the Zurich ↔ Bologna and Zurich ↔ Genova routes won’t be calling at Milan’s main station Milano Centrale, instead they will call at Milano Lambrate, a station which is usually only served by local and regional trains.
Those local & regional trains will offer a frequent connection to and from Milano Centrale, though it will also be possible to make connections to and from Milano Centrale at Como S. Giovanni station; where the connections will usually involve waiting on the same platform for the onward train; the binaro (platforms/tracks) at Milano Lambrate only have access by stairs.
Though the line 2 of the Milano Metro also serves Lambrate.
However, trains to Milano Centrale will be departing from Zurich HB at 06:33; 07:33; 09:33; 11:33; 13:33; 15:33; 17:33 and 19:33; offering as many trains between the two stations as prior to the service enhancements.
Heading north, the EC trains to Zurich will be departing Milano Centrale at: 07:10; 09:10; 11:10; 13:10; 15:10; 16:10: 17:10 and 19:10.
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