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Comparisons of A, ES and IC+ trains? 1st or 2nd class?

PA
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Comparisons of A, ES and IC+ trains? 1st or 2nd class?

We are planning to take a train from Roma Termini to Naples and continue on Circumvesuviana to Sorrento. We will have carry-on luggage on wheels, not big suitcases. I looked at the train schedule on trenitalia website, and there are A, ES and IC+ trains around the time we will arrive at Roma Termini from the airport.

I see that A trains are the fastest and also the most expensive. I am wondering whether we need limit ourselves to A or ES 1st class seats if we don't want to worry about safety or comfort. Could you please share thoughts on this? Are second class seats on IC+ OK? Can we just show up at Termini and buy tickets on any train leaving next?

I noticed that the ES train goes to Napoli P. Garibaldi station, not Napoli Centrale. Can I still catch Circumvesuviana from P. Garibaldi station?

Thank you so much in advance for your responses!

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1. Re: Comparisons of A, ES and IC+ trains? 1st or 2nd class?

EuroStar Italia AV (Alta Velocita) is a little bit faster than the regular EuroStar Italia (ES). ICplus is a conventional trainset (locomotive + coaches), also quite comfortable, not as fast...

2nd class is absolutely fine... all these trains "could" sell out, which does not really happen, especially not on the Rome-Naples line as there are so many trains... so it's no problem to just show up and buy the tickets.

Napoli Centrale is at Piazza Garibaldi, ... so I think it's just another name for the same station... maybe somebody from Naples can tell you more about this.

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2. Re: Comparisons of A, ES and IC+ trains? 1st or 2nd class?

I took 2nd class Eurostar a few months ago and it was absolutely fine. Very comfortable, and there were very few people on the train. I've read here that the IC+ trains are pretty comparable to the Eurostar trains.

Yes, the distinction between Piazza Garibaldi and Napoli Centrale is very confusing and misleading. I don't quite understand it myself, but for all practical purposes, they are the same thing. When you get off the train in Naples, just follow the signs for the Circumvesuviana. Nothing could be easier.

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3. Re: Comparisons of A, ES and IC+ trains? 1st or 2nd class?

Dear telengard,

Regional and inter-regional (R, IR) trains are much less expensive than ES eurostar and A Altavelocita` trains. So very often people get on R and IR trains without a ticket(at least from Napoli to cities south). For the ES and A trains, the seats are reserved so conductors tend to do a good job of checking tickets and ousting passengers who try to ride for free. Also, the ES and A trains have a set number of seats so if the train is packed, that means that all the seats are taken. FS Trenitalia will sell practically an unlimited number of tickets for the following trains: IC Intercity, ICPlus Intercity Plus, R, and IR. As a result, these trains can be packed with people standing in the aisles, near bathrooms, in the shakey scary connecting area between trains, and near the exit doors. Also, it can be a struggle boarding the train to find an open seat.

A and ES trains tend to be on time and are air-conditioned, however, we've been on ES trains which were late by practically an hour. Once some relatives were stuck on the only unairconditioned 1st class car on an ES train from Firenze to Napoli on a very torrid day this Summer. In that case, an ES train can be like an oven or an airplane with the heater on.

What I don't like about IC Intercity trains is that sometimes people without a ticket or with a 2nd class ticket head into 1st class cars. If the conductors are having a tough day checking tickets that day, then there could be gypsies or just very friendly people trying to get to know you. Once we paid for 1st class tickets on an ICplus Intercity Plus train and for a while ended up sitting in a hot/very crowded 2nd class car until we figured out that the car was mismarked (a conductor had put up hand-written signs, one of which was ripped off by the time we boarded the train).

Nevertheless, as mentioned many trains run between Roma and Napoli so even the regional trains might not be so packed although presently news reports say that on certain days last week trains out of Napoli heading to Roma or Milano were very crowded.

If you don't see hoardes of people waiting on the track for the IC+ train from Roma to Napoli, then a 2nd class seat might be fine especially Mon-Fri during the day.

Many ES (not all) trains pass through Napoli on their way to Reggio Calabria so sometimes they stop at Napoli Piazza Garibaldi instead of Napoli Centrale FS Train Station. As jjkdc, Napoli Piazza Garibaldi FS Train Station is on platform #2 and #3 downstairs near the metro lines. You can just go up the escalators, head left, go up another escaltor, and you'll be in the middle of Napoli Centrale FS Train Station.

Definitely, you can just show up at Roma Termini and buy a ticket using the handy numerous automatic ticket machines. I'm not crazy about waiting in line at the ticket windows, however, as an option you're welcome to wait in a line too.

Watch out for the rumoured upcoming train strike in I believe September which might be documented on the following link:

www.summerinitaly.com/planning/strike.asp

Buona Fortuna...

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4. Re: Comparisons of A, ES and IC+ trains? 1st or 2nd class?

Thank you so much for your responses. I feel well prepared now!

5. Re: Comparisons of A, ES and IC+ trains? 1st or 2nd class?

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