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European Railroad Discussion > Italy and Greece Advice Request


Date: 02/11/17 07:52
Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: erielackawanna

I am planning a family trip to Italy and Greece. While not a railfanning trip, I'd like to see if I can't get a day or two in in each country to do some fanning.

On Italy a friend directed me to Cinque Terre as a great place that the family can have fun and I can also sneak off and do some good railfanning.

Anyone have any other suggestions for Italy that I should consider? Looking for mainline action, scenic location, unlikely to be stopped from taking pictures.

How about Greece? I know the rail lines there are quite reduced. I'd love to get some Alcos and some freight. Is there anyplace that is worth going to that is also a tourist location the family would enjoy?



Date: 02/11/17 14:49
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: symph1

erielackawanna Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am planning a family trip to Italy and Greece.
> While not a railfanning trip, I'd like to see if I
> can't get a day or two in in each country to do
> some fanning.
>
> On Italy a friend directed me to Cinque Terre as a
> great place that the family can have fun and I can
> also sneak off and do some good railfanning.
>
> Anyone have any other suggestions for Italy that I
> should consider? Looking for mainline action,
> scenic location, unlikely to be stopped from
> taking pictures.
>
> How about Greece? I know the rail lines there are
> quite reduced. I'd love to get some Alcos and some
> freight. Is there anyplace that is worth going to
> that is also a tourist location the family would
> enjoy?

I agree about Cinque Terre. If you can, also take the train south from Naples to Sicely. The put the whole train right on a ferry, in two parts. And, if it's like it was a couple years ago, you can watch the work up close. Be sure you get back onto the same car afterwards. The train splits when they put it on the ferry, and the two portions go to different destinations.



Date: 02/11/17 16:25
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: leonz

They should be doing some serious snow clearing in the northern part of Greece with
a Beilhack snow clearer on the main lines up there too. I dont rememeber off hand in
what part of the country has the rack railway.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/17 12:04 by leonz.



Date: 02/12/17 01:01
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: wpamtk

Genoa has a pretty photogenic station, with a tunnel just beyond each end. Passenger and freight trains coming and going, plus deadhead moves to/from the coachyard. As I recall, a street goes above the tracks at the north (?) end, with photos possible from there. My info may be out of date, as I was there in 2002, but I took lots of photos around the station and adjacent storage tracks on a Sunday morning, and no one paid the slightest attention to me. Genoa is an interesting city (the topography kind of reminded me of Seattle), and it's not too far from Cinque Terre. I noticed a shipyard near the airport had EMD SW1001s for power, although I couldn't get a photo. I also shot pictures at Pisa (not too big a place, but lots of trains) and Florence with no trouble.



Date: 02/12/17 03:54
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: andersonb109

Plan on them being on strike and have a back up plan. Strikes, or "industrial action as they call them"  are common in Italy and at times last only a few hours and are unannounced. Some trains are affected. Some aren't. No consideration for the traveling public. 



Date: 02/12/17 07:02
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: colehour

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Plan on them being on strike and have a back up
> plan. Strikes, or "industrial action as they call
> them"  are common in Italy and at times last only
> a few hours and are unannounced. Some trains are
> affected. Some aren't. No consideration for the
> traveling public. 

My recollection from living in Rome from 2001-2007 was that strikes were generally but not always announced and, at least on a local level, did allow for some service during commute hours. I recall times when bus and tram service was affected by a strike but local trains were not. There are several unions representing the transportation workers, and they don't always go on strike at the same time. Airline transportation can also be affected by such strikes. 

Despite the inconvenience of strikes and other annoyances, I found transportation in Italy to be surprisingly good and convenient. I didn't have to use a car much and went through a kind of withdrawal when I returned to the States and less abundant public transportation. When I left Italy they were beginning to allow some privatization of the train service, but I have not followed what has happened since then. 



Date: 02/12/17 10:42
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: spflow

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Plan on them being on strike and have a back up
> plan. Strikes, or "industrial action as they call
> them"  are common in Italy and at times last only
> a few hours and are unannounced. Some trains are
> affected. Some aren't. No consideration for the
> traveling public. 

This is great - the same as a visitor to the US being warned about the danger of being shot!

I have lived part-time in Italy for almost thirty years and have never heard such nonsense. As for "no concern for the travelling publc", what's the point of a strike that has no impact? Sometimes there are actual issues (alhough perhaps not often in Italy!). More to the point, let's get thimgs in some proportion. Italian train travel is very cheap abundant and well patronised, if a bit rough round the edges. At least you are not treated like a chid and endlessly told when to get on or off.


I would just go for it in the Cinque Terre - it's easy, practical and full of fun for all the family!

 



Date: 02/12/17 17:53
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: Latebeans

Anyone that has followed the posts by Andersonb109 knows that he does not like unions, period. He often manages at least one little dig at them in his posts. I was a railroad union member for 43 years, BRT then UTU. I would be the first to admit that unions are far from perfect. On the other hand I do not believe it is unrealistic to think that individuals deserve someone to look out for their interests versus those of multi billion dollar organizations. I have never regretted being a union man even when I had to change my travel plans in France a few years back due to a strike on SNCF.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/13/17 11:48
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: ATSF3751

spflow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> andersonb109 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Plan on them being on strike and have a back up
> > plan. Strikes, or "industrial action as they
> call
> > them"  are common in Italy and at times last
> only
> > a few hours and are unannounced. Some trains
> are
> > affected. Some aren't. No consideration for the
> > traveling public. 
>
> This is great - the same as a visitor to the US
> being warned about the danger of being shot!
>
> I have lived part-time in Italy for almost thirty
> years and have never heard such nonsense. As for
> "no concern for the travelling publc", what's the
> point of a strike that has no impact? Sometimes
> there are actual issues (alhough perhaps not often
> in Italy!). More to the point, let's get thimgs in
> some proportion. Italian train travel is very
> cheap abundant and well patronised, if a bit rough
> round the edges. At least you are not treated like
> a chid and endlessly told when to get on or off.
>
Italy has a great rail transportation system. Been going there for many years and we have never encountered any work stoppages, or even delayed trains. We did encounter a delay on an over night train from Milan to Paris, however, the delay occured after we had crossed the border from Italy. The grafitti can be a bit heavy on some of the local train rolling stock, but other then that, it is a world class system. Italy is a beautiful country and the people are most accomodating and friendly. You can drive with confidence if you choose to rent a car and many highway signs have international symbols.  However, stay out of large cities such a Rome and Florence if you do rent a car. There are no drive zones (for non-local residents) in many of these places, and in some of the older walled towns as well and the tickets can be quite expensive if you wander into such an area with your car.  Been there, done that. LOL.

>
> I would just go for it in the Cinque Terre - it's
> easy, practical and full of fun for all the
> family!
>
>  

Yes, The Cinque Terre is a wonderful area. But, it can be a real anthill of tourists. May I recommend staying in Riomaggoire? It is the southern most town and is for us at least, the most convenient. (We drove there on our last trip, stayed at a location at the entrance to town) The views from the restaraunts at the (small) harbor are quite specatular and don't have quite the hoards of tourists one finds in the other towns. Check out AirBnB for the best values for lodging and Trip Advisor for recommendations for meals. Buon viaggio!



Date: 02/13/17 12:16
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: meixel

I can give you one train travel story for Greece.  My wife and I were there I believe in 2008.  We were staying in Nafplio and wanted to go to Athens for the day.  We had a rental car but I knew not to drive into Athens.  We drove to Corinth and took a train to Athens.  The train in was uneventful and on time.  However it was a different story going back to Corinth.  The trains going back left every hour and we were waiting for the next one.  It was displayed on the station monitors as being on time.  However it eventually disappeared from the monitor with no explanation.  Nobody on the platform said or did anything.  We waited for the next train, an hour later, which did come.  Everyone got on and we got back.  Based on the people's reactions it seems like this was a normal occurrence.  Greece, at least in 2008, is a very laid back place.  We had a great time and want to return someday.



Date: 02/21/17 20:55
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: bretton88

Idk about the mainline trains, but I've visited Rome 4 times and all 4 times there was a local transit strike for part of the visits.



Date: 02/23/17 20:03
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: symph1

Cinque Terre
 






Date: 02/23/17 20:09
Re: Italy and Greece Advice Request
Author: symph1

Train ferry to Sicily.








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