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Train - Ticket validation

Sydney, Australia
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581 posts
58 reviews
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Train - Ticket validation

My daughter and I had a few hours stopover in Rome recently (our first time in Europe) so caught a taxi (first mistake) into Rome from the airport for a quick look around. We caught the airport express train back to the airport. To cut the story short we were fined by an inspector for not having our tickets stamped?? Still cannot understand why if you have a train ticket with the date and time and the amount you have paid (you can't get the ticket unless you have paid)and you are an overseas traveller with little Italian, the inspector takes pleasure in fining you, insisting that there are signs that tell you you must have your ticket stamped. On getting off the train, I noticed the "Ticket STamping" machines - but who would know what that means. I think it must be a great revenue raiser from unsuspecting tourists.......I haven't seen any mention of this in any of my visits to forums...so new European travellers beware LS

Milan, Italy
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for Milan, Genoa, Valle d'Aosta
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106 reviews
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1. Re: Train - Ticket validation

Not that I want to rub my finger in your wound, but train ticket regulations, including stamping requirements, are clearly explained in decent English on the Italian rail website - trenitalia.com/en/…viaggio2.html

and it is the travelers' responsibility to get themselves acquainted with the applicable rules. In your particular case, your ticket has the price you paid and the time you bought it, but does not indicate a specific train as you can't make reservations on that type of train. Say that the conductor had not spotted you, you could have used the same ticket again in the next 60 days. Of course I am not implying that you were trying to cheat, but rules are rules...

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2. Re: Train - Ticket validation


I shared your confusion. My pre-paid ticket with the date & time actually said "Rome to Florence" (as if I would use that twice in 1 day). Does that need stamped? Even asking employees at the train station, I could not get a straight answer about whether my tickets needed validated and how their system works for my specific ticket. To be fair, my train tickets were probably uncommon. After getting a different answer from every person, I decided to be safe and just validate the tickets (after seeing the machines). But only 1 of my 2 tickets stamped! The other ticket just refused to stamp in the machine. When the inspector came to validate, I put the stamped ticket on top. He looked a little confused, but fortunately didn't say anything.

FF is absolutely correct. They validate so that you cannot use that same ticket for a free ride at another time. Quite a new concept for me (being from US) to have a system where sometimes tickets are checked and sometimes not. But the inspectors are just doing their job - I doubt they take pleasure in fining people.

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3. Re: Train - Ticket validation

Sorry this happened to you. When we were in Venice an American tourist told me that he had the same experience, but he asked the ticket agent if there was anything he needed to do to the ticket prior to boarding the express train from the airport to Rome. The agent said no. So when the conductor came around to check tickets, his was not validated and he just refused to pay the fine and said the agent did not tell him to do so. He actually thought it might have been a scam. He did see others pay.

It is a little confusing if you are not aware of it or not looking out for signs which say you must validate. The problem that adds to the confusion is some tickets require validating and other tickets don't. For example, Eurostar, ICPlus, EC, and IC (with reservation) trains do not require validating since you are assigned a specific train on the ticket. Regional, Diretto, and Interregional train tickets need to be validated prior to boarding. If you forget and the train leaves, you must search out the conductor to inform him otherwise he will think you are trying to cheat.

>>>"When the inspector came to validate, I put the stamped ticket on top. He looked a little confused, but fortunately didn't say anything."

You were most probably on a Eurostar, since the look of confusion. No validating required.

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4. Re: Train - Ticket validation

Similar systems apply in France, Spain and probably other European countries, but not in the UK. Every guide book on Rome I have read refers to the need to validate tickets or risk a fine. Moral - read the boring bits in the guide books.