2018-08-21 10:38:25 UTC
Bloomin' foreign trains. Anyone who says that UK trains are the worst
have never travelled on local Italian and French trains.
On Sunday we'd booked the "fast" Thello train from Sanremo to Nice. We
turned up at the station in plenty of time, only to see an announcement
of a 15' delay. OK, not too bad we thought and had a coffee before
heading for the platform which is half a mile away, all underground.
Thankfully this time the travellators were working.
By the time the train arrived, it was 15' late, but we still had time
for our connection, and enjoyed the trip along the coast once we'd
emerged from under Sanremo. But then we stopped in Ventimiglia. And
waited. And waited some more. And then the A/C went off which was not
pleasant in the mid 30's. A sign said a 60' delay. Eventually a girl in
a uniform turned up (the only staff member we saw in the whole trip and
our tickets weren't checked at all anywhere) and explained that they
were "changing the locomotive". No idea if ours was broken or if we had
to swap with the Thello train heading in the other direction and also
stopped, so that no Italian engine was allowed on French track.
Eventually we got A/C back and then moved, only to have an unscheduled
stop at Menton where the Gesta^W CRS to throw off illegal immigrants.
Schengen anyone ?
During all these delays it was impossible to find any online source of
information that would tell us what was going on or what our options
were for alternative trains as we had now missed our connection to
Antibes. Even Trainline EU was silent on the matter and anything that
showed a schedule would only show trains that were more than 2 hours
into the future despite what the heading said and despite clicking on
Eventualy we arrived at Nice 90 minutes late. Nobody on the platform to
say where got our next train from, so we climbed the stairs to the
platform linking bridge where there was a display showing "Grasse
17.27", but no information at all about where it stopped. We went down
to the platform indicated, but again no info on stops, so we had to go
all the way back upstairs to the main entrance to find a display that
showed this was the train we wanted and that it was 15 minutes late too.
So 4 hours to do a trip that takes 1 by car. No wonder the trains are
empty. The TGV may be great, but the Freccia (Arrows) in Italy are no
better than our long distance trains and the local services are appalling.