Please sign in to post.

Open Tickets on Trains

We will be taking the train from Chiusi to Lucca with a change in Florence at Santa Maria Novella station. We have Open Tickets purchased online. There are 22 minutes between trains. I would like to know if having Open Tickets means that if we are not able to make the change that fast we could take a later train using the same tickets. We are in our mid '70s and not as quick as we used to be.

Posted by
5687 posts

Is the train from Florence to Lucca a regional train? If so, you can just take the next regional train to Lucca if you miss your connection. If your train to Lucca is an IC train (with reservations)? Not quite sure how it works getting the next train.

But, 22 minutes to connect at Florence S.M.N should be plenty of time. It's an easy station for connections as a I recall - no stairs needed to get under the tracks to change.

Posted by
20280 posts

You have 4 hours (at least) to complete the journey, and I believe that time is extended given the length of the journey. Yours is over 4 hours from start to finish.

Assuming you are looking at the 10:28 from Florence to Pisa. If you miss that one, there is another to Pisa at 11:00 and connects to another there with a 31 minute connecting time to Lucca, so you would arrive 20 minutes after you originally intended.

22 minutes is a very comfortable connecting time at Florence S. M. Novella station. If your inbound train is late, that might be an issue.

Posted by
11294 posts

Unless someone in your party has a mobility impairment or other special needs that will slow you down significantly (beyond just age), 22 minutes is plenty of time to make a train change at Firenze SMN station. It is a dead end station and the tracks are all on one level. So, you don't need to go up or down stairs to change trains.

A few minutes before you pull in, start gathering your belongings and moving toward the doors (you'll see lots of others doing the same). Be ready to get off when the train stops. Head toward the front of the train (again, just follow the crowds getting off). Find a departures monitor (be careful not to look at an arrivals monitor by mistake). Find your next train using departure time and train number. Lucca may or may not be the final destination, so be careful about looking for "Lucca" on the monitor - while final destinations are prominently posted, intermediate destinations are not. Then head to the track for your next train. That's it.

Posted by
3112 posts

I'm curious about the "open tickets" you purchased online. Regional tickets purchased online are typically pre-validated and good for a certain number of hours thereafter (should be stated on each ticket). It's usually only regional tickets purchased at a ticket counter or kiosk that are "open" - i.e. valid for any regional train on the stated route during the day (and thus requiring validation before boarding). Were you able to purchase tickets online that weren't pre-validated? If so, that could be a very useful tip to share.

My guess is that the online tickets are pre-validated and that each segment will allow you 4 hours from the stated departure time of each train to complete that segment. So if you have a pre-validated ticket for the 10:28 train from Florence to Pisa, it would be valid for any Florence to Pisa regional train arriving by 14:28. That's the way it worked when I bought a regional ticket in combination with a Freccia ticket.

One note of caution should you miss a connection - you'll need to follow the same route as the tickets. For example, if your tickets are for Chiusi to Florence to Pisa to Lucca, I don't believe they'd be valid for the direct trains from Florence to Lucca.

Posted by
16894 posts

Rail Europe describes the Regional train tickets they sell for this route as Open Seating and also, unfortunately, uses the term "Open tickets." However, that's not the standard meaning of "open tickets," which usually means an open date and time. That's confusing. But they are print-at-home tickets which must specify dates and times, otherwise you could print a million copies.

Posted by
32940 posts

I wish that RailEurope would get with the program