Four Countries, Four Trains – A Trip on Tracks (Preview)

After having so many trip reports involving flights and road trips, this trip report will completely leave me on the ground. I planned an all-rail trip to Italy using different rail systems in May 2020 already – however, I had to postpone it to August 2020 due to Covid-19. Due to different administrative problems (majorly that my original German ticket to Milan is still valid, but I just could not get the mandatory seat reservation on the new route), I also adopted my trip slightly and included Rome instead of Bologna to my itinerary. Four (major) rail trips, driven by four companies of four countries. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Hope you enjoy following me on this one.


Four Countries, Four Trains – The Mission

Even though this block might not be fully reflecting that, I really love to ride the train. I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, I like to be able to work during travel, especially in the German ICE trains. This trip includes three very interesting rail products: the tri-national collaboration, ECE, the Italian top class train Frecciarossa 1000 and the Austrian night train Nightjet.


Four Countries, Four Trains – The Trip

To me, the trip “officially” starts at Frankfurt on 7th August 2020. In order to get there, I will have a Day 0 trip from Cologne to Frankfurt (in a German ICE train). I will report of my night in Frankfurt in the Day 1 report, which heads me from Frankfurt to Milan.

Date Train from to
07.08.2020 ECE 451 Frankfurt Main Station Milan Centrale
08.08.2020 FR 9645 Milan Centrale Roma Termini
09.08.2020 NJ 294 Roma Termini Munich Main Station
10.08.2020 ICE 628 Munich Main Station Cologne Trade Fair

The ECE 451 is already quite an interesting one. Driven as a joined venture by German Deutsche Bahn, Swiss SBB and Italian Trenitalia, the rolling stock is an Alstrom ETR 610 driven by the Swiss Rail system. If you are lucky, you hit a train with a special pan-European design. The Italian Frecciarossa 1000 is a very interesting train, as it travels with speeds up to 350 kph. It also has a four class system. I booked in into one of the most exclusive European scheduled rail service, the Executive Class, which will really be interesting. The Nightjet is an Austrian-driven night rail system. There are numerous offers – one of the key reasons why I diverted from my original route plan was that I wanted to try out there most comfortable option, which gives you a bed, breakfast and even an own shower. The German ICE feels to be a bit standard against it – it is the regular German high-speed rail option, which brings me home to Cologne.


Four Countries, Four Trains – The Stays

I just have very vague plans for the Italian cities at the time of writing – also due to the Covid-19 situation in the country, I just need to see what are the best places to explore while in Milan and Rome. Time in Munich will be rather limited – I might just make use of a relaxing stay in the German Rail Lounge or so (due to having booked a night train, you need to have quite some buffer for the connection).

The hotels, however, are pre-booked. I obviously stay the last night in the Nightjet. Once the hotel reviews are concluded, I will link them into here.

I have originally been booked to Bettoja Hotel Mediterraneo in Rome, but the hotel contacted me right after the booking that due to Covid-19 regulations, they moved be to their neighboring sister hotel.


Four Countries, Four Trains – Day by Day

Here are the links to my daily coverages. I will assign the entire Nightjet trip to the final day.


Trip Report Inceptions

Here are the starting postings of each Trip Report I posted in here so far


“Rides on Rail” Postings

Here is everything about trains, trams and other rail vehicles:

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