High speed rail link to be launched in December
Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport will be the first Italian hub served by fast trains, with the initial experimental phase beginning in December with a high speed service from Venice.
Commuters from outside Rome will be able to arrive directly at the airport in Fiumicino (FCO) without having to get off at Rome's Termini station to take an airport connection.
The new daily service will leave from Venice, stopping in Padua, Bologna, Florence and Rome's main international airport, before returning again. Commuters leaving from Florence will reach FCO directly in an hour and 50 minutes.
Air travellers with hand-luggage will be able to check-in during the train journey while a plan to sell air tickets including the train fare, for example a Florence-New York ticket, is also being considered.
The project is a combined effort between the Lazio region, Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), Trenitalia and Rome, and the existing rail tracks are already suitable for high-speed trains.
ADR believes that rail link will increase passengers through the airport as it will avoid the inconvenience currently faced by people coming from outside Rome who have to change trains at Termini to get to the airport.
The present system offers two options for train travellers. The Leonardo Express, a non-stop service from Termini station leaves every half hour and costs €14. The journey takes 30 minutes but commuters must factor into their timetable the considerable walk to and from platform 24, which can be inconvenient for those with a lot of luggage.
The other option is the slower FL1 Fara Sabina/Orte line which does not stop at Termini but at Rome's stations of Tiburtina, Tuscolana, Ostiense or Trastevere. This takes about 50 minutes from Tiburtina and about 25 minutes from Trastevere, and costs €8 one-way. However, in the case of Trastevere at least, the lifts are often out of use so that passengers lugging their bags up and down the steps is a familiar sight.