Sunday, January 29, 2006


Snow and the Italian train system

The traffic in Milano went in tilt on Thursday because of the snow. I can understand that, as the roads were not cleared and people are not used to driving on snow. But, I cannot understand why the trains and metro went in tilt on Friday. I expected a lot of people to take the train when they realized it was too much snow to go by car so I left home one hour earlier than normal. Great I thought; the train was only 9 minutes late which is better than on a normal day even with a bit of snow in the station:

It continued snowing and the problems started when everybody wanted to go home. The increased traffic came a surprise to nobody apart from the train companies. Ferrovie Nord canceled several most trains and the few trains that went were short with the obvious effect; People insisted on getting on the train even when it was full. It took another 15 minutes before they managed to close the doors after I took the picture…

I finally got a place on a train that brought me to Bovisa where I had to take another train. But which train should I take when there are so many to choose from?

Eh… no trains and no information. Just a bunch of unhappy people waiting for news.

And rumors, loads of rumors. The guy next to me went to Cadorna first where there were no trains in the station and no news. So, he took the underground and another train to arrive in Bovisa where we was met with the same story; no trains and no news. Trains were rumored to be stuck in various places due to power failures etc. The only news we finally got: the train line I took to get to Bovisa got closed due to a technical error. So; I was officially stuck with no place to go.

I bought a bunch of supplies (chocolate and Pocket Coffee) and was getting ready to walk the 15 km home when they announced that a train arrive in 2 minutes. Walking to the track was not necessary; lift the feet and the crows carried you. It was the first train in the hour I had been waiting so it was already packed. People were fighting to get on so I ran close to another track to the front of the train where I saw that there was "plenty" of space, but then the doors started closing. A last sprint, and I solved the problem the Italian way; I put my foot in the door so they had to open it again…

It was late when I finally came home but I guess you can pick out the car covered by snow and a broken hedge…

The really bad news? It started raining on Saturday and has been raining ever since so most of the snow is gone :-(

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