Frecciarossa from Italy to Greece

The past years I have travelled to Greece by train and ferry. The ferry is the worst part of the journey. The train in Italy is great! The Freccriarossa is so much better than the ICE in Germany for example. The ferry is run by a Greek company Superfast/ANEK that does not really feel any competition because if you want to bring your car to Greece, there is no other way.

Recently, more people would like to travel to Greece without the use of an airplane.

The ferries between Italy and Greece are connecting to the northern harbours of Italy: Bari, Ancona and Venice. For truck drivers and motorists it is attractive to sleep a bit longer and avoid burning fuel and paying road tolls.

The experience for train travellers can be much better! There are crucial differences and those can be exploited:

1.Superfast ferry nowpotential alternative grouptruck drivers and motoriststrain travellers, pedestrians, bicyclists
3.popular Italian portsBari, Ancona and VeniceBari and Brindisi
4.popular Greek portsCorfu (in summer), IgoumenitsaCorfu, Igoumenitsa, Paxoi, Patras
5.loadinglong and complexquick and easy
6.vesselbig quasi cruise ship with car decksjust cabins and chairs
7.operationinflexible, the whole year throughnever ‘sold out’ with extra ships in high season
8.connection to train“what? no car?” + difficult to reach, huge delays so you miss a trainconnecting shuttle /
rental cars lined up at arrival
9.boardingspecific time and place in portcan be in the train

What I propose is a fast train running from Bologna to Brindisi, the most southern port of Italy that connects smoothly to a ferry. With a few stops along the way to pick up Italians. The tourists from the north of Italy and northern countries can find connecting (night) trains to Bologna. The fastest connection Bologna-Brindisi is now 8 hours. The train should leave around 13:00 in Bologna so the ferry can leave at night.

Brindisi-Corfu is 7,5 hours. Igoumenitsa is 1 hour more. So the ferry can arrive in the morning and passengers can continue travelling after waking up, much like the night train.

To Patras another 6,5 hours arriving in the afternoon. Could probably be faster because the stops along the way take less time for pedestrians. The ship could also be faster than the huge ones from Superfast that go around 20-26 knots. There are ‘fast ferries‘ that go up to 42 knots although without cabins usually.

Unforatunately Igoumenitsa does not yet have a train station.

Alternatively, the connection can also be made with an Airlander that goes around 120km/h through the air. It does not need an airport and it does not burn kerosine. No need to leave from a port, it could also leave from Lecce for example. No need to pay the port authority. The Airlander can shuttle non-stop between Italy and Greece. Also on the domestic market to connect the north of Greece, the Ionian Islands and the Peloppennese will meet demand. It can easily compete with all the current options by water which are a lot slower.

Ultimately, Italian train passengers should be able to buy a train ticket to Greek train stations! Greek destinations should be in the timetable and mentioned in stations. After all, Italy owns the Greek railways ‘Hellenic Train‘ already.