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Train question

I've made reservations from Roma Termini to La Spezia Centrale on ES 35434. Using the Swiss train website I believe it indicates this train originates in Rome and terminates in Genova P. Principe. Originating in Rome does that mean this train will be loading on the platform much earlier than a train pulling through the station? How much earlier? I ask because my first Italian train adventure assumed the train originated in Venice (it didn't) I didn't find my train number on the platform and got on the wrong train (asked someone and got off before it left). I mistakenly assumed that a train sitting 15 minutes before scheduled departure was my train. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

Posted by
23471 posts

How much earlier depends? Generally fifteen minutes or so. Sometimes the train is there but the doors are closed and will not open until 15 mins or so before departure. Also platforms can change especially at someplace like Termini because of its size. We learned that lesson in a similar fashion so we stay near the head of the platform where we can see the board and wait to go down to the train until about 10/15 minutes early.

Posted by
6898 posts

Tim, it would be most helpful if you shared your departure date and time with us. I see no train with the number ES 35434. I do see ES 35334 and ES 35344 but no ES 35434. But, I'm not looking at every day either. For your question, approximately 480,000 passengers go through Rome Termini each day. The trains don't hang around for long. If you have the 6:45am train, then perhaps its there but as Frank points out, the doors may not be open. If your train departs later in the day, you may not see the train number and destination appear on the large digital sign board until 30 minutes before departure. Yes, the final destination is what is shown on the train window. All you have to do is locate the large paper train schedule mounted behind glass. It shows every train departing Rome Termini during the day. It lists all trains by the departure times. Further, it shows every stop that each train makes. Its quite a busy and useful piece of information. You won't be the only person scanning this large document. Simply scan down to your printed departure time on this chart, scan to the right to see if you see La Spezia Centrale and if yes, scan further to the right to see the final destination. That will be your train. It could be Genoa, it could be some place else.

Posted by
4535 posts

Trains are coming and going constantly from a big station like Termini. So even if it originates from Termini, it may not pull into the platform more than 10-15 minutes before departure. I like to show up about 30 minutes early, confirm which platform my train will be at, then get a snack or relax until about 15 minutes before departure. Then I double check the platform announcement again and board when the train arrives.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for the helpful replies. I leaving Saturday September 28 at 6:57AM, if that makes a difference.

Posted by
32268 posts

Tim, It's a good thing you have reservations, as the Trenitalia website indicates that train is SOLD OUT so no longer possible to purchase tickets. Trenitalia indicates that La Spezia Centrale is the terminating point for that train. There's no mention of it going on to Genoa (although that could certainly be the case). I agree with a previous comment that it would be a good idea to be at the station at least 20 minutes prior to departure. Use the electronic board for the track and other information rather than the paper charts. I've found that track/platform numbers can sometimes change at the last minute. You may find that each car has an electronic display in the side window (near the door) indicating the train number and destination. As you've found, if you're unsure of the train it's always a good idea to ask. Happy travels!