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Regional Train Tickets

Virginia
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2,033 posts
491 reviews
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Regional Train Tickets

Quick Question.

I'm booking some train tickets now for my dates as they become 4 months out (and saving lots of money getting the super economy fares as my dates are set!)

I'm noticing though that for dates in May...that they are letting you book and pay for tickets on regional trains..that are part of a multi-train trip. I thought you could only get regional train tickets 7 days in advance online?

For example: Florence - Monterosso or Monterosso - Rome (routes I'm looking at)... those involve a regional train florence - pisa and intercity train pisa - monterosso and regional train monterosso - la spezia and intercity train la spezia to rome.

Instead of only letting you pay and make reservations for the intercity trains... they let you pay for the regional trains too.

Is this new? Will I have to stamp my "e-ticket" on the machine before getting on the regional train?

Just wondering how e-tickets work for regional trains when like in these instances I can book regional trains more than 7 days in advance if they are part of a multi-train trip.

Edited: 29 January 2013, 23:07
GAC
Los Angeles, CA
Destination Expert
for Sardinia
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8,828 posts
23 reviews
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1. Re: Regional Train Tickets

If you wish, you can avoid buying the "regionale" portion(s) of the itinerary online by simply booking the reserved train segment, e.g. Pisa Centrale to La Spezia Centrale instead of Pisa Centrale to Monterosso or Firenze SMN to Monterosso.

If you choose instead to book the complete itinerary online (both the regionale train segment and the reserved train segment), you will avoid the need to purchase PAPER tickets for the regionale trains once in Italy.

In this case, you do not (cannot) "validate" the electronic ticket(s) in the stamping/validating machines at the station. The electronic ticket won't fit in the stamping/validation machine (and there is no validation requirement for electronic tickets, nor for any RESERVED train).

The electronic ticket for the RESERVED train is valid ONLY on the specific train noted for the specified date between the specified city pairs.

The electronic ticket for the UNRESERVED regionale train is valid on the specific train noted for the specified date between the specified city pairs, OR any later regionale train departing within FOUR HOURS. That means, for example, that when you arrive at La Spezia Centrale to board the connecting regionale train to Monterosso, you can board the specified train OR any later train departing within four hours. So, if you MISS your specified connecting regionale train (because of a late-arriving train), you can take a later train without needing to make any changes whatsoever.

It might get a bit tricky if you purchase an ECONOMY or a SUPER ECONOMY fare on the RESERVED train, yet MISS that train because of a late-arriving connection FROM an UNRESERVED "regionale" train: the technical rule provides in this case that there must be at least a 60-minute connection FROM the UNRESERVED regionale train in order to get permission from Trenitalia staff to re-book to a later-departing RESERVED train without penalty. Fortunately, this "rule" is often relaxed to only 15 minutes (although discretionary on the part of Trenitalia staff). Largely because of this uncertainty, I recommend allowing at least a 30-minute connection between an INCOMING regionale train and an OUTGOING reserved train, particularly if you hold an ECONOMY or a SUPER ECONOMY fare for the reserved train.

You don't face this problem at the other end of the trip: if you MISS the connection FROM a RESERVED train TO an UNRESERVED regionale train, you have a 4-hour grace period (if holding an ELECTRONIC ticket for the regionale train) or a 2 month grace period (if holding an UNVALIDATED PAPER ticket for the regionale train). IF you unwittingly validated the PAPER regionale ticket at the station of origination, you would have only a 6-hour grace period to utilize that ticket for a later-departing regionale train.

CAVEAT: Validate a PAPER regionale train ticket ONLY at the departure station of that particular regionale train, preferably just before you board the train. Do NOT validate it at a remote station, if you have a multi-segment trip.

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
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37,719 posts
28 reviews
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2. Re: Regional Train Tickets

I suggest that you don't buy the regional tickets online. There is no advantage to doing so, and they are more restricted than the regional tickets you can buy at a train station in Italy. If you don't want the trouble of having to buy regional tickets before every trip, you can buy them all at once at any train station in Italy. As GAC says, they can be used on any day for up to two months, as long as they haven't been validated.

I can understand the desire to save money by buying cheap tickets in advance, but I also consider the inconvenience of having my itinerary set in stone months before the trip. I usually buy in advance only the tickets that are for destinations where I intend to stay at least one night, and where I've already reserved a hotel room. I prefer to keep the day trips flexible, even if the tickets cost more. There are all sorts of things: weather, health issues, changes of mood, information about an even more interesting trip or activity, that might make me want to skip one day trip, or make it on a different day.

Virginia
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491 reviews
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3. Re: Regional Train Tickets

"I can understand the desire to save money by buying cheap tickets in advance, but I also consider the inconvenience of having my itinerary set in stone months before the trip. I usually buy in advance only the tickets that are for destinations where I intend to stay at least one night, and where I've already reserved a hotel room. I prefer to keep the day trips flexible, even if the tickets cost more."

So do I bvlenci. So do I.

These are not day trips, which is why I'm buying the tickets in advance as they are set in stone hotel dates.

Thanks for the tips everyone.

4. Re: Regional Train Tickets

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