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TRANSPORT

Italy hit by travel disruption in national rail strike on Friday

Train cancellations and delays were expected across Italy on Friday, September 9th, as unions called a strike over the safety of rail workers.

Italy hit by travel disruption in national rail strike on Friday
Italian rail services will be hit by delays and cancellations throughout the day on Friday. Photo by Geoffrey VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

Widespread delays and cancellations were expected throughout the day on many local and interregional rail services run by operators Trenitalia, Italo and Trenord.

Trade unions confirmed on Thursday that the nationwide railway strike would last from 9am until 5pm.

Certain services deemed essential remain guaranteed to run, rail operators confirmed on Thursday, though most of these will be at peak times and therefore outside of the main strike hours. (See more about guaranteed services from Italo and Trenitalia.)

Passengers planning to travel on Friday were advised to check the status of their service with the rail operator before setting off. 

Trenord said that its airport train service from central Milan to Malpensa airport would be replaced by a bus link during the strike hours on Friday.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about train travel in Italy

The strike was called to demand more security protection for train staff after a series of violent incidents.

Unions slammed the “gravity and intolerability of the numerous and violent attacks” on staff in a joint statement announcing the strike.

What are your rights if your train is delayed or cancelled?

Both Trenitalia and Italo offer compensation if your train is more than an hour late, starting at 25 percent of the ticket price for delays of 60-119 minutes and rising to 50 percent from 120 minutes.

Alternatively, if your train is expected to be an hour or more late and you decide not to travel, you can request a full refund.

Trenitalia, Italy

Photo by Geoffrey VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

For Trenitalia’s high-speed Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca trains, compensation kicks in from 30 minutes’ delay.

In the case of cancellations, you are entitled to a refund (and in certain circumstances, if you find yourself stranded because of a missed connection, a free transfer back to your starting station). Whether you get all or only part of the ticket price back depends on whether you’ve already begun your journey, whether it’s outward or return leg, and whether you can switch to an alternative train.

If you’d like to travel on a different service, ask the nearest Trenitalia or Italo ticket agents at the station.  

Italo credits compensation and refunds automatically in the form of digital vouchers, which customers have the option to convert to money. Passengers on Trenitalia can apply for money back using this form.

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STRIKES

How Italy’s transport strikes will impact travel on Friday

Transport workers in Italy have announced another strike on Friday, December 2nd: here's how travellers will be affected.

How Italy's transport strikes will impact travel on Friday

Travellers in Italy face further disruption this week, with the latest in a string of national transport strikes called for the coming Friday.

Flights, trains, taxis and local public transport will be affected, as well as some schools and health facilities and the logistics sector.

The strike is part of a coordinated action between multiple national and local trade unions, reports Skytg24.

Worker demands include the introduction of a national minimum wage and a pay rise in line with inflation, as well as a freeze on military spending and increased investment in schools and the public health and transport sectors.

Here’s how the strikes will affect travel on Friday.

Flights

Staff from the Spanish carrier Vueling will strike for 24 hours on December 2nd, in protest against the latest round of redundancies announced by the company.

Vueling hasn’t confirmed how flights will be affected, but delays or cancellations can’t be ruled out.

At the time of writing, no other airlines appear to be involved in the strike.

Vueling staff will strike against planned redundancies on Friday.

Vueling staff will strike against planned redundancies on Friday. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP.

Ground staff in airports across the country will participate in the action, meaning significant disruption could be caused to those flying with other carriers.

Italy’s national civil aviation agency Enac has published a list of the flight numbers and routes that will be protected from cancellation.

Flights from 7am to 10am and from 6pm to 9pm are usually guaranteed to operate in Italy, as are any flights due to depart or arrive before the scheduled strike times but delayed for reasons beyond anyone’s control.

All incoming intercontinental flights, including those for which Italy is the transit country, are also guaranteed.

As in previous strikes, those meant to be travelling with Vueling on Friday are advised to check their flight status with the carrier before setting off.

In the event of severe delays or cancellations you might be entitled to compensation. See our guide for further details.

Trains

Staff of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS), Italy’s national state-owned rail company, will strike for 24 hours from 9pm on December 1st until 9pm on December 2nd, the company has announced.

FS subsidiary Trenitalia has published lists of all the services that are guaranteed to continue in the event of a strike; here is their list of national train routes that should be unaffected by the strike on Thursday and Friday.

National and regional train services will be affected by Italy's strikes on Friday.

National and regional train services will be affected by Italy’s strikes on Friday. Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)

For regional services, you can search the Trenitalia site by region to find out which train services are guaranteed.

An additional document provides links to services guaranteed by smaller, local rail companies in some parts of the country.

FS notes that delays and disruption to travel could occur before and after the strike’s planned start and finish time.

In some regions, such as Lombardy, services between 6-9am and 6-9pm, as well as certain other routes considered essential, are guaranteed.

Public transport

Local strikes will take place in a number of Italian cities and regions on Friday.

In Milan, staff from public transport operator ATM will strike at various points throughout the day. Significant disruption to buses, trams and trolley services is expected from 8.45am to 3pm and after 6pm.

Metro services are guaranteed until 6pm, after which travel may be disrupted. The Como-Brunate funicular will likely have limited service from 8.30am to 4.30pm and from 7.30pm to the end of service.

It’s still unclear at this stage whether taxi drivers will participate.

In Rome, major disruptions on bus, tram, and trail services are expected from 8.30am to 5pm and from 8pm to the end of service. Again, it’s currently unclear whether taxis will participate.

Bus services in Rome and other Italian cities will be disrupted on Friday.

Bus services in Rome and other Italian cities will be disrupted on Friday. Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP.

In Naples, staff from public transport operator ANM will strike, causing disruption to Metro Line 1, the Montesanto, Chiaia, Centrale and Mergellina funiculars, and on buses and trams.

And in Bologna, bus and other ground transport services will be disrupted between 8.30am and 4.30pm and from 19.30pm until the end of the service.

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