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Paris to Rome by train

What is the fastest way to travel from Paris to Rome by train?

Posted by
27419 posts

Most of the options take about 12 hours. The fastest I found for August 16 (random date chosen by me) took 11 hr. 17 min. You'd depart from Gare de Lyon at 10:17 AM and arrive at Roma Termini at 9:34 PM. There would be two transfers, at Geneva (9 min., which doesn't provide room for a delayed arrival) and Milan (55 min.). There are trains leaving earlier that would also get you into Rome earlier. Most of the departures involve more than two transfers and take a bit longer.

I see that on some days, including August 17, there's a direct train that avoids the need to transfer. However, it departs at 6:22 AM, arriving at 5:40 PM. Travel time is 11 hr. 18 min.

This would be a good time to investigate flying, I'd say.

Here's a link for the French rail company SNCF: https://en.oui.sncf/en/. Use your actual travel date to get precise information on the schedule and fares.

I found some additional routings on the Deutsche Bahn website, but they aren't necessarily better than those listed by SNCF.

Posted by
20461 posts

A quick review at www.bahn.com shows 11 hours and 17 minutes with train changes at Geneva and Milano Centrale. There is one that does it in 11 hours and 26 minutes with only one change, but that is a bit disingenuous as you have to change stations as well, from Milano Garibaldi to Milano Centrale, either by taxi or Metro.

Posted by
5132 posts

With nonstop flights of only around 2 hours, available from multiple Airlines, this would be the time to really consider flying instead of a train.

Posted by
9871 posts

“Fastest” isn't very fast if you miss a five-minute transfer window in Geneva.

Sadly, unless you are going to break up the trip by spending a day or two in Turin or Milan, this really is a time to fly.

Posted by
6663 posts

Unless this is for a trip this year, another option is TGV from Paris to Zürich and then an overnight train from Zürich to Rome. Saves you one night in a hotel, and has a much smaller carbon footprint compared to flying.

Posted by
7078 posts

The route via Geneva is likely to be far more expensive than the route which goes straight to Milan. The change of stations is a minor hassle, and you can avoid it by changing trains at Torino Porta Susa instead of Milan (you might need separate tickets for this).
This being said, it's a very long day.

Posted by
50 posts

Thank you all for the responses. They will help me in my planning.

Posted by
548 posts

I wonder if the transfer in Geneva is just changing the train number. If thats the case just stay in your seat. Otherwise, even if it were on time, you might be hard pressed to figure out which track and walk to it in time.

the thing about flying is that its not just "2 hours", its 45 min- 1.5 hours to get from Paris to an airport. Then arriving early and security, and then cramming your small bag in the overhead. then arriving Rome and however long it takes to get into the city. So that sounds more like 6 hours to me - plus being in a crowded covid tube for a few hours.

On the train, bring big bags, spread out, enjoy the scenery.

Although I found Rome to be a bit seedy, and not sure about late night arrivals. I think I would get up early and get the 6 am train, or better yet, make it a two day trip and spend a night in Geneva.

Posted by
548 posts

Someone said its a smaller carbon footprint to train than fly. Maybe probably but who knows. A train is a big massively heavy thing going up mountains and with all that friction on the tracks. A plane spends most of its fuel just to go up, then its very high with little resistance. So I am not certain that the plane uses more carbon per passenger per mile.

But I would still take the train - I just hate the boarding process and stuffing your camera into your coat pocket to keep your bags under 7 kg, and not being able to find overhead space.

Posted by
33330 posts

trains avoid "going up mountains". That's why there are tunnels.

Trains run on electricity, and only when they need it. And when slowing down many generate electricity to put back into the system.

who knows? Many studies have proven it.

Posted by
9871 posts

A train is a big massively heavy thing going up mountains and with all that friction on the tracks.

These trains don’t go up mountains. They go through them.

Posted by
10355 posts

Who knows?
You know, that's who, Nigel.

Posted by
6663 posts

Someone said its a smaller carbon footprint to train than fly. Maybe
probably but who knows.

Many know, there is a lot of data available.

A train is a big massively heavy thing going up mountains and with all
that friction on the tracks. A plane spends most of its fuel just to
go up, then its very high with little resistance.

Planes are big heavy things as well that go even higher. Most passenger flights fly at an altitude around 10,000 m, the highest rail line on the Paris to Rome route is the Fréjus tunnel at 1,338 m (apart from some small Swiss narrow gauge lines). And there is not a lot of friction on the rails, actually there is very little friction so they don't use much energy. And more important, the energy they do use is electricity, which in France and Switzerland at least is very low carbon. Compared to planes that burn fossil fuel. And as mentioned, trains can feed electricity back to the system when going downhill.

So I am not certain that the plane uses more carbon per passenger per
mile.

As mentioned, there is a lot of data available. A TGV emits around 6 g CO2e per passenger km, flights within Europe seem to be around 200-300 g per passenger km.