When writing the recent news re Trenitalia’s Thello departing France, I speculated it might well return.
Sure enough only a couple of days later the path is clear for Trenitalia to operate its planned high-speed (HS) Frecciarossa service between Milan and Paris.
Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa 1000 trainsets have now been approved for France! Twice-daily Paris-Turin-Milan Frecciarossa service (in competition with SNCF’s TGVs) is now a major step closer. https://t.co/eoXlkidJuI
— The Man in Seat 61 (@seatsixtyone) June 30, 2021
France’s rail regulator has taken two years to provide its verdict.
Business Traveller originally reported on Trenitalia’s plans in June 2019.
Paris-Milan and vice versa is a key route for both business and leisure travellers.
Milan Central is a major hub for Italian rail. With a train change one can travel onwards with the mainline or HS network to all corners of Italy.
No details of when Trenitalia’s HS service (likely to adopt the Thello branding) to Paris will start. But initially it appears there will be a twice daily service.
But the fact it will start at all would seem a minor miracle given the complexity of operating cross-border trains in mainland Europe.
This document from the European Union Agency for Railways provides a mind-boggling list for what needs to be actioned before a new train type can operate.
However before the service can start one issue may arise. It concerns SNCF whose TGVs will take longer on the route unless they are modified (to cope with Italy’s HS line) beforehand.
At the time of writing SNCF’s TGVs must use the classic line within Italy and this adds to journey time – refer to our above piece.
Such a situation would not sit well with SNCF management.