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Strikes For Members

What to expect from Italy's national rail strike this weekend

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
What to expect from Italy's national rail strike this weekend
Passengers pictured at Milan's Centrale railway station in 2023. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Rail passengers in Italy may face disruption on Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th as staff at railway operators including Trenitalia and Italo plan a 24-hour strike.

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Passengers travelling across Italy by train may face delays or cancellations this weekend as staff at state-owned railway operator Ferrovie dello Stato, which includes Trenitalia, Trenord, and Trenitalia Tper, and private company Italo plan to strike from 9pm on Saturday, May 4th to 9pm on Sunday, May 5th.

The walkout was called by CAT (Coordinamento Autorganizzato Trasporti) – one of Italy’s major trade unions – in late March to demand the renewal of collective labour agreements in the rail transport sector.

The planned protest is expected to affect all types of rail travel, from long-distance services to regional and local ones, with the overall level of disruption expected to vary by city and operator.

While rail companies are legally required to guarantee the operation of a number of minimum services (servizi minimi) during strikes taking place on weekdays, there’s no such requirement for weekend walkouts.

READ ALSO: The transport strikes that will hit travel in Italy in May 2024

This means that operators are free to decide whether or not to guarantee services for passengers.

Trenitalia 

National rail operator Trenitalia said in a statement that their services “may experience changes or cancellations” for the entire length of the strike, but the protest may also “result in service variations both before its start and after its end”. 

Though the statement provided no information regarding possible guaranteed services, Trenitalia generally operates a number of essential long-distance journeys during weekend walkouts. These are available here.

Trenitalia has advised passengers planning to travel with them during the weekend to check the status of their services via their website or mobile app, or by calling toll-free number 800 89 20 21.

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Italo

Though initial news reports said that the walkout would not affect the services of private long-distance operator Italo, staff at the company are also expected to take part in the protest according to reports on Friday morning.

It was unclear at the time of writing exactly how the strike would impact Italo services, but delays and/or cancellations could not be ruled out.

Italo has said it will guarantee the operation of a number of long-distance services during the walkout. You can find those here.

Trenitalia Tper

Trenitalia Tper, which operates train services in the Emilia-Romagna region, has said that their services “may experience changes or cancellations” due to the walkout. 

In the event of cancellations, passengers will be able to “ask for a refund according to the operator’s terms and conditions”.

Trenitalia Tper hasn’t yet provided any details regarding possible guaranteed services.

See their website for the latest updates.

Trenord

Trenord, which operates a number of regional trains in the Lombardy region, including connections to and from Milan’s Malpensa Airport, has said that scheduled services “may be subject to cancellations”.

However, the operator has also said that none of its staff are represented by trade union CAT and previous walkouts backed by the union didn’t affect scheduled services.

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Trenord will not operate minimum services during the strike. However, should airport link services be cancelled, replacement buses will run the same routes. 

See Trenord’s website or app for the latest updates.

What to do if your train is cancelled

If a pre-booked rail service is cancelled due to strike action in Italy, passengers are normally allowed to travel on other equivalent services instead or will be entitled to a refund.

Passengers travelling with Trenitalia will need to request a refund either at the station or by using this web form

Keep up with the latest updates in The Local's strike news section.

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