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BLQ to Centrale station

BLQ to Centrale station

Old Apr 17, 19, 2:42 pm
  #1  
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BLQ to Centrale station

Hi all - is it realistic to try to catch a 20:08 train at Bologna Centrale after arriving at BLQ at 18:45 (from LHR)? Thanks for any input - this would be a Saturday in late June.
flugvergnugen is offline  
Old Apr 17, 19, 5:20 pm
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Assuming you are on-time, you're not checking bags and you take a taxi, it's do-able. It's 10-11km / 6-7 miles - even with traffic that shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 6:09 pm
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I did this in February. It was not the busy season, so it was fairly quick. End of June will be busier, all the steps might take longer. Is there a train after this one, just in case? There are some train apps that will list all the trains and you can buy tickets through them. I didn't use to buy but I liked the listing of all the trains.

I did check my bag from LHR to BLQ and my baggage was out within 10 min. A cab was right outside the airport. I had to stop at an ATM to get euros - which was about an extra 5 min and the driver knew a place on the way. It only took about 10 min to get to the train station.

However, are you familiar with buying train tickets? Do you speak Italian? Will you buy your train ticket prior or do you need to buy it there? I don't know if the windows are open that late. If they are, you may wait for a long time. People do not move fast. There are a few kiosks that you can put in euros or your credit card. Screen is in Italian and it was not obvious to me if it could be translated to another language. That visit I did the window. Luckily, I had some time. This last visit, an employee was standing at the kiosks and helping people get tickets. My credit card didn't work - I had to have my PIN which I did not have at the moment. I had euros so I paid with that. She selected a train that was to leave in about 5 min - but it was delayed by about 17 min (the strike helped out on that one.) You may have to walk a ways/escalator to get downstairs, so allow about 5 min for that, more if you have others with you, lots of luggage or mobility issues.

If you buy a train ticket that can be used on any day/time (local trains), it has to be stamped. If it is not stamped, a conductor might check tickets and you could get a huge fine on the spot.
If you buy a ticket for a specific date and time, you don't need to as it can only be used for that specific trip.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 6:29 pm
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Loco2 is an app that I liked. There are few others.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 10:19 am
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Thanks, I will have a checked bag - but hopefully it will come out quickly. Planning on buying the ticket on the Trenitalia site in advance, so hopefully straight onto the platform when arriving at the station. The 20:08 is a Frecciarossa (I guess this is "nicest" one?), there is a Frecciargento at 21:28, and then a final Frecciarossa at 22:08.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 12:14 pm
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The frecciarossa is, usually, a little slower than the frecciarossa. Comfort-wise there is no big difference.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 2:53 pm
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The frecciarossa is, usually, a little slower than the frecciarossa.
I don't think that's what you meant. Maybe the Frecciargento is slower?

To the OP: if you book the Super Economy fare, if you miss the train, the ticket has gone to waste. At the Economy fare, if you can get it changed before the train's departure time, you can pay the difference to the Base (full) fare for a train of the same category. If you book a Base fare, double-check on it, but I think you can change it once up to an hour after departure of the train you miss.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by rove312 View Post
I don't think that's what you meant. Maybe the Frecciargento is slower?...{snip}...
Oooops, sorry about that. Of course you're correct!
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Old Apr 19, 19, 12:24 am
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Originally Posted by sophiesophie View Post
There are a few kiosks that you can put in euros or your credit card. Screen is in Italian and it was not obvious to me if it could be translated to another language. That visit I did the window. Luckily, I had some time. This last visit, an employee was standing at the kiosks and helping people get tickets. My credit card didn't work - I had to have my PIN.
Agree. As for the credit card not working at the train station ticket kiosk, that is the primary reason for the long lines. When I need cash, I use my ATM card, which has a PIN that will work anywhere in the world. Using a credit card at a train ticket kiosk requires having a PIN, and few credit car holders have one.

I don't. As soon as you use your credit card with PIN, it' like using it for a cash advance at an ATM machine. Immediately, 25-35% interest accrues per day. For this reason I don't even have a PIN for my credit card. Few people do. Use ATM card when PIN is needed as it always does at train station.

Once, maybe 20 years ago I called my credit card company to get a PIN, "just in case." The agent counseled me not to get one because the interest and charges will be three times the cost of the train ticket. Since all ATM cards have a PIN, just use your ATM card, not credit card. I'd say that half of the waiting in the long lines at train kiosks are from people from other countries, especially the USA, trying to use a credit card, and they don't have a PIN, and they just keep trying to use their credit card. Use your ATM card and there will be no problem.

Last edited by Perche; Apr 19, 19 at 12:30 am
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Old Apr 19, 19, 9:17 am
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Ciao, Perche!

I wouldn't have thought that using your CC for the fare would be handled like a cash advance, but that might be true if you are expected to enter a PIN. Since I am not certain I have a PIN for my CC (I might but have never used since it isn't written down anywhere), that likely saved me the extra charges. I didn't know you could use your ATM card in the kiosk. I was in a hurry and don't remember what the screen looked like but I generally look for the Cirrus symbol to use it that way and not sure I saw it. I had euros on me - so just used that. Ideally, I'd just pay through an app and avoid all of this! I should have done so my last visit, but I forgot to get it setup. As I recall, the one app would only accept my card info when I was ready to pay for the ticket, but since a strike was planned, I had no idea which train I would be taking until I got to the train station. I really didn't want to be standing in a crowed train station trying to enter my card info into my phone, so just bought it at the kiosk.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 10:58 am
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If a U.S. card is billed as having true chip and PIN capability, it shouldn't count as a cash advance for purchases. The travel-related cards from Barclays should have this; I've used their AAdvantage card for this. There's discussion on this on the FT credit card forum. I've also heard that if a kiosk asks for a PIN and you don't have one, you can try entering 0000.
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Old Apr 27, 19, 8:17 am
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I think that everyone with this problem could pay at the ticket machines using apple pay instead of card. I use apple pay every day both with my debit and credit cards, and Iíve never had any problem with the PIN, even if the amount paid is more than 25 euros.
Every trenitaliaís (and BLQ airport express bus, too) self service ticket machine is equipped with a contactless reader (that, for rail tickets, is located below the touch screen).
If you have a contactless credit/debit card and the amount paid is less than 25 euros, you can pay at the machines with your card. However, you must tap your card next to the reader (and not insert them)
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