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I have following train schedules (departure times; all are on different dates):

08:05 Train Rome to Bari (Trenitalia.com,  Frecciargento  9351)
06:00 Train Rome to Milano (Trenitalia.com, Frecciarossa  9600)
23:05 Train Milan to Paris (ItaliaRail.com, Thello 220, 6-Berth)

Confirmations with barcodes/PNR Numbers, with fixed day/time/coach/seat were emailed to me & I will print & bring.

My questions are:

  1. How early I need to reach Station/platform to board these? For example, for international flights, the minimum time is 3 hours before departure. What is the same time for these trains? My hotel is at 5/15 minute walking distance from Roma Termini.
  2. Do I still need to get these tickets stamped, given that these already have date/time mentioned & are bound to that specific train/coach?
  • 1
    terrific trains ! – Fattie Mar 6 '16 at 19:49
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    it's good form to arrive a solid 15 minutes early for trains. you can arrive at the step of your carriage 30 seconds before the departure time - assuming you can haul your self and your bags up the step in 29 seconds! but think how long it takes to walk the length of a train to your carriage. many minutes. and think how long it takes to walk from the main entrance of the train station, to the ... – Fattie Mar 6 '16 at 19:54
  • ... appropriate platform. and what about when a platform is changed? at somewhere like gare de lyon in paris, when the departure platform is changed it takes forever to walk to the other end of the damned station. be aware that with trains, there's a lot of walking around, which takes time. what if you have to ask a question of staff? it's all minutes here minutes there. it's really, really annoying to be rushing for a train. get there 15 mins early at least! – Fattie Mar 6 '16 at 19:55
  • @Joe Blow thanks, will do arrive 15-20 minutes, as I do not have any luggage except a 6kg messenger bag. – DavChana Mar 6 '16 at 21:58
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    @JoeBlow Roma Termini and Roma Tiburtina as well as Milano Centrale don't have any absurdly long walks to the platform, at least for high-speed trains as these (the regional train to Pisa instead departs from a platform that requires at least 5min walking, but that's another story). Still, obviously better to err on the side of caution. – mts Mar 7 '16 at 9:20
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  1. How early I need to reach Station/platform to board these?

These are trains, not planes. A couple of minutes before departure should be fine. Note that in Roma Termini and Milan (and some other stations) there are now access checks to the platforms, but that costs maybe 1min extra in my experience. Being at the station 15mins before departure should be fine. The train platform typically only gets displayed some 20-30min before departure anyway.

  1. Do I still need to get these tickets stamped (...)?

No, you have to convalidate (i.e. stamp) regional train tickets that are not train bound. If you have a PNR you don't have to stamp (it might be difficult to fit your print-out into the convalidator anyway). In fact it suffices to have the PNR, I often just show my cell phone with the confirmation SMS showing the PNR or the conductor just asks you for a random digit of the PNR (assuming you are seated at the assigned seat). You may be required to show something (SMS or printout) at the above mentioned platform access checks though.

Source: Personal Experience.

Edit: These rules are for the Italian trains (Trenitalia and Italotreno alike), for the train to Paris (which seems to be operated by the French) rules might be different and I would carry a print-out to be on the safe side.

  • I'll try to edit for official sources later on. – mts Mar 6 '16 at 15:34
  • No worries, personal sources are enough :) – DavChana Mar 6 '16 at 15:36
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    @mts: Experience using the SNCF (the French rail company) suggests that a printout is enough. Never used SMS/Smartphone so cannot comment on that :/ – Matthieu M. Mar 6 '16 at 18:32
  • @MatthieuM. thanks for commenting, indeed I assume the printout to suffice (are there even "bornes" in Milano to retrieve tickets?), my word of caution was rather for using the PNR only. It is a 6-digit alphanumeric code similar to airline confirmation codes. – mts Mar 6 '16 at 18:41
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    I once used a train to/from Gare du Nord, and I only had to show the ticket pass only after getting on board, on my phone. – Ayesh K Mar 7 '16 at 17:09

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