Tuscany 2013 - 1: Verso l'Italia! (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

Last week I experienced an in many ways lovely spring holiday in Tuscany and surroundings, with this trip report from winterly Austria I would like to get you into the mood for the following travelogues, even if it still originates from the icy season two months ago. During semester break I spent a few winter sport days at St. Johann in Tyrol, in this period I managed to explore Brenner Pass photographically for the first time - so already on topic: "Towards Italy!"

However, a few more stages followed:

On my return to Vienna I changed trains at Salzburg and got to know the newly rebuilt main station. Two German Deutsche Bahn employees waited for the border personnel exchange of five minutes delayed EuroCity 110 Klagenfurt - Munich on February 9 2013.

Aged DB class 111s reach Salzburg every hour with Regional Express trains from Munich.

Arrived at St. Johann, Kitzbühler Horn mountain is calling!

On February 6 2013 I could enjoy the best weather, otherwise it snowed every day, but the sun also showed itself at least once a day. View from Kitzbühler Horn towards cloud-covered Wilder Kaiser mountain range, whoever is able to detect the train inbetween (ÖBB InterCity 514 Graz - Innsbruck) gets a treat! ;-)

Another pic of the same ÖIC and some deep powder snow action. It consisted of long distance coaches with a CityShuttle regional driving van trailer.

In the morning of February 9 2013 I went on the usual Saturday-only hunt for seasonal trains from Northern Europe to ski resorts in Austria with a fellow railway enthusiast.

Not entirely homely surroundings for a normally flatland "Puszta-Ox" of Hungarian class MÁV 470, this timetable period they are scheduled on some inner-Austrian workings from Salzburg across Tauern Pass to Klagenfurt and here as REX 1520 via the Gisela Railway to Innsbruck.

After we had captured early morning empty IC Munich - Zell am See, we took cover from snowfall at Grieswirt stop shelter. Meanwhile this triple headed freight passed us between "wonderfully" placed noise barriers.

At Grieswirt station, with sign "worry-free through the winter"... ;-)

Seasonal D 13189 from Hamburg to Mallnitz on the Tauern Railway hauled by a Lokomotion (private rail company) "Zebra".

That weekend "Koasalauf", a popular cross-country skiing race, took place. While the classic competition was held on Saturday, these freestyle skaters were already training for their event next day. A Pentek Timing employee set up a time trap working with a chain saw in the snow. In the background you can spot a long chain of Belgian SNCB coaches forming express 13423.

Snow was available in masses, we found some heaps taller than us. So far we only had been using cleared roads, now we worked our way through the deep snow - sometimes sinking in - along the cross-country skiing trail, of course always avoiding the classic tracks.

As 13417 only left snow dust behind, the sun started to show itself exactly in the few hot seasonal train minutes.

IC 1280 with ÖBB Taurus and DB rake from Zell am See to Munich rushed past Grieswirt loop unused by Koasalauf race.

As always, when you are waiting for a train into one direction... but that was also a possibility to catch 115 278 with seasonal express 13817.

That way as well...

The reason why it paid off to wait: ÖBB class 1142s are probably even rarer on Grießen Pass than DB class E10s, because of this a meeting of both elderly ladies should be extremely rare.

Now I waited for the racers passing by, my father also participated.

Action on the grade at the head of the field.

Snowfall started to get more dense.

MÁV 470.002 returned pushing REX 1507.

A race for young and old.

Shortly following each other two identically tractioned freight trains towards Wörgl delighted us, here 54452.

And now we are finally moving towards Bella Italia, early morning of February 6 2013 I walked through deep snow on the pavements to St. Johann station.

Snow was being cleared there, even if the worker had to battle one or another passing freight dragging along a snow storm in its wake.

The morning REX at 4:45 a.m. was about to take me non-stop to Brenner Pass.

Not much rail to cross left...

Changing platforms by using the lift, this thing only could be moved with running engine thus chugging along through the corridor and even inside the lifts.

The light beams of my "Talent" class 4024 EMU shining through dense snowfall.

Welcome to St. Jodok on the Brenner line.

Negotiating St. Jodok horseshoe curve the lights of the EMU lit the surrounding snow.

Snow being cleared here as well.

Snowfall now decreased, but foggy clouds were predicted until later in the morning - exactly right, I love my WeatherPro! :)

S-Bahn 5245 to Hall during blue hour.

Siiii, the first train actually towards Italy, "corridor"-REX 1871 (as it is passing through Southern Tyrol in Italy to reach its destination, Lienz, back in Austrian Eastern Tyrol).

Another one of countless perspectives at St. Jodok.

"To the new cemetary - keep the exit clear" - Why the EXIT? ;-)

Image with old cemetary next to the church.

Somehow that morning proved to be Balkans-like: during my arrival a rolling road train rushed downhill, more than an hour later another uphill. But else - nothing! Also, the obligatory track maintenance vehicle was chugging towards Brenner and stayed inside the tunnel for a longer period, we already know this from Bosnia and surroundings, at least once daily...

Lorry traffic on rail and road.

Mountain peaks started to show partly in morning atmosphere.

I jumped out of the way of this snowplow, even if the driver was happy to get his picture taken he thundered past me without reducing speed. In the meantime you can spot corridor-REX 1870 Lienz - Innsbruck in the background.

I spent the time waiting at a panoramic spot along Schmirntal road, at about nine o'clock the sun fought its way into the valley. A RoRo came downhill while a Talent EMU was stopping at St. Jodok station.

Yeah, the vehicle left the scene after another lenghty stop inside the tunnel, Balkans-mode was over!

The first long-distance express of the day, properly into Italy: DB-ÖBB EuroCity 81 München Hbf - Verona Porta Nuova.

Now trains were rolling into both directions closely behind each other during a sunny spell.

The parade view across the valley.

Next train downhill, next uphill.

Shot from above the tunnel portal, the cars left fascinating shadows on the snow.

Another highlight: green Viennese City Airport Train (CAT) class 1116 locomotive far from its home.

With nice shadow cast on the other side of the horseshoe curve.


Now it was time for my train back to the skiing holiday.

But into which direction should we move on?

My holiday last week reminded me of yearly sightseeing trips to Italy with my parents, usually around Easter. Since the holiday was early this year and because of an event taking place I chose the week April 14 - 20 2013.

As a little pretaste mit journey plan, I can already reveal that not only did almost everything work as scheduled, but the weather stayed virtually cloudless until Friday, on Saturday it was also fine for the decisive moments, so you can look forward to a great catch! :)
Pictures and stories accompanying these bare figures will follow over the coming weeks:

PP = FS E464 electric loco + push-pull set
DD = E464 + double decker "Vivalto" train
+.. min = delay

Sat, April 13 2013

Vienna Meidling dep 19:30  EN 235 "Tosca" -> Roma Termini ÖBB 1116 / ... / FS E402A

Sun, April 14 2013

Firenze SMN arr 6:18

Firenze SMN dep 8:50  R 11709 -> Pontremoli PP

Signa arr 9:05


Signa dep 11:47  Regionale 23380 -> Firenze SMN PP

Firenze Rifredi arr 12:00
Firenze Rifredi dep 12:16  3056 -> Viareggio DD

Prato Centrale arr 12:29
Prato Centrale dep 12:38  11664 -> Bologna C PP

Monzuno-Vado arr 13:18

Monzuno-Vado dep 15:41  6545 -> Prato C ALe 642

Grizzana arr 15:49

Grizzana dep 18:46 +54 min!  6599 -> Prato C ALe 642

Prato Centrale arr 19:21 +48 min!
Prato Centrale dep 20:29  6663 -> Firenze SMN ALe 426

Firenze Rifredi arr 20:44
Firenze Rifredi dep 20:44 +5 min  11735 -> Pisa Aeroporto ALe 501

Signa arr 20:55 +5 min

Mon, April 15 2013

Signa dep 6:53  23376 PP

Firenze SMN arr 7:13
Firenze SMN dep 7:29  21457 -> Ravenna ALn 668

S. Cassiano arr 9:05

S. Cassiano dep 12:42 +7 min  6814 -> Firenze SMN ALn 501

Crespino del Lamone arr 13:08 +7 min

Crespino del Lamone dep 17:09  21480 ALn 501

Firenze SMN arr 18:11
Firenze SMN dep 18:53  23371 -> Pontremoli PP

Signa arr 19:11 

Tue, April 16 2013

Signa dep 4:48  11703 -> Livorno C PP

Pisa Centrale arr 5:52
Pisa Centrale dep 6:30  11838 PP

La Spezia C arr 7:40
La Spezia C dep 8:12  24486 -> Sestri Levante PP

Monterosso arr 8:35

Monterosso dep 11:56  11259 -> La Spezia C PP

Vernazza arr 12:00 

Vernazza dep 14:25  24493 -> La Spezia C PP

Manarola arr 14:34

Manarola dep 19:35  24501 PP

La Spezia C arr 19:46
La Spezia C dep 20:07  FB 9787 -> Roma Termini ETR460

Pisa Centrale arr 20:47
Pisa Centrale dep 21:01  11783 -> Firenze SMN PP


Firenze Le Piagge(!) arr 22:08 +5 min
Firenze Le Piagge dep 22:09 +5 min  6665 -> Livorno C DD

Signa arr 22:14 +5 min

Wed, April 17 2013

Lastra a Signa dep 6:37  11747 -> Grosseto D445

Castelfiorentino arr 7:03
Castelfiorentino dep 7:10  Bus 33 -> Empoli

Cambiano arr 7:15

Cambiano dep 12:10 Bus 33 -> Empoli

Empoli Piazza della Vittoria arr 12:35 +5 min
Empoli dep 13:04  3116 -> Firenze SMN PP

Lastra a Signa arr 13:14

Thu, April 18 2013

Lastra a Signa dep 5:51  3103 -> Piombino Marittima PP

Empoli arr 6:00
Empoli dep 6:21  6859 ALn 668

Siena arr 7:31
Siena dep 8:04  6903 -> Chiusi-Chianciano Terme ALn 668

Asciano-Monte Oliveto Maggiore arr 8:33

Asciano dep 14:47  6912 ALn 668

Siena arr 15:19
Siena dep 15:41 +10 min  23470 -> Empoli ALn 668

Castellina in Chianti-Monteriggioni arr 15:56 +10 min

Castellina in Chianti-Monteriggioni dep 18:01  11794 -> Empoli ALn 668

Empoli arr 18:52
Empoli dep 19:32 +7 min  23392 -> Firenze SMN PP

Signa arr 19:46 +7 min

Fri, April 19 2013

Signa dep 4:48  11703 -> Livorno C PP

Livorno C arr 6:16

Taxi -> Largo del Duomo

Livorno Largo del Duomo dep 6:40  Bus 102 -> Cecina

Castel Sonnino arr 7:06

Castel Sonnino dep 7:41  Bus 102 -> Livorno Largo del Duomo

Calafuria arr 7:46

Calafuria dep 9:55  Bus 102 -> Cecina

Quercianella arr 10:01

Quercianella-Sonnino dep 10:45 +10 min  3110 -> Firenze SMN PP

Pisa C arr 11:29 +10 min
Pisa C dep 12:20  6761 ALn 668

Lucca arr 12:47
Lucca dep 13:00  6966 -> Minucciano-Pieve-Casola (selbe Garnitur weiter)

Poggio-Careggine-Vagli arr 14:05

Poggio-Careggine-Vagli dep 15:00 +5 min  6971 ALn 668

Lucca arr 16:05 +10 min
Lucca dep 16:12 +9 min  6794 ALe 642

Pisa C arr 16:43 +5 min
Pisa C dep 16:54 +7 min  23388 -> Firenze SMN PP

Signa arr 17:46 +5 min

Sat, April 20 2013

Signa dep 6:27  11705 -> Viareggio PP

Pisa C arr 7:32
Pisa C dep 7:50  6691 -> Aulla Lunigiana ALn 668

Borgo a Mozzano arr 8:51 +5 min

Borgo a Mozzano dep 12:26  6967 ALn 668

Lucca arr 12:50
Lucca dep 13:12  6736 ALe 642

Pisa C arr 13:43
Pisa C dep 13:54  23382 -> Firenze SMN PP

Signa arr 14:46


Signa dep 15:47  23384 PP

Firenze SMN arr 16:07

Firenze SMN dep 22:09 +10 min  EN 234 E402A / ...

Sun, April 21 2013

Vienna Meidling arr 8:33 +20 min

Now a short overview of tickets used - by the way, I love the Italien regional train fare, it's cheap, practical and tickets are valid two months! Ticket machines were very easy to operate, you just had to keep the PIN-code of your credit card ready. The only feature not available or not found by me: buying several tickets at a time. That way you have to insert the card and enter your PIN after every single purchase which can get tedious. Sometimes the net connection seemed to be quite slow, so you had to wait endlessly for the selection of trains. Once it took so long I aborted and changed to the neighbouring ticket counter were I was served within two seconds. You can choose several languages, sometimes a talking voice leads you through the credit card procedure. Once I chose English - and it was the same female voice as in the Italian version, featuring an according accent plus inability to pronounce consonants at the end of words! ;-)

Number of tickets: 34 overall / 29 railway / 26 regional
large format: 11 regional / 1 Frecciabianca (11 at the machine / 1 regional at the ticket counter)
small format: 15 regional at the machine
SparNight: 2 internet
Bus: 5 to validate

Kilometres: 1458 km
Fare: € 143,10
= ~ 98 cents / 10 km

Frecciabianca La Spezia C - Pisa C:
Fare: € 14,50

Sparnight Vienna Meidling - Firenze SMN - Vienna Meidling:
Fare: each direction € 29,- + 1x couchette berth € 20,-

Bus Castelfiorentino - Cambiano - Empoli / Livorno - Calafuria - Castel Sonnino - Quercianella:
Fare: € 7,40

Overall fare: € 243,-

A few scanned examples of tickets, from top left:
- Luggage deposit slip Firenze SMN - from 5 Euros per piece for the first five hours, no shorter period, no left luggage lockers available.
- Ticket bought aboard an overland bus from Livorno, validated.
- Small tickets are dispensed depending on the machine.
- On very short rides tickets are valid only 75 minutes after validation, the majority is valid 6 hours.
- Large regional tickets from the machine.
- Ticket and reservation vor Frecciabianca Eurostar high speed train, at the machine you could choose your seat on a map of the coach.
- at the bottom: ticket from a counter.


We will continue with spring/practically summer in lovely Tuscany - see you then! :)


Railfan Photographer
Roni, I really liked how you worked the trains into a photo of everyday life like the skiers and snowplow truck. The scenery there is awesome too! Very nice series of photos!


New Member
Interesting I was in Pisa just a few days after you on April 22. I short trip over in that area. The one disappointment I had was to find you can no longer take a day time train from Venice to Villach, Austria. Instead you have to use a bus. The only alternate is a night train..

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