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Train in Melegnano, Italy
Photograph: Shutterstock

These two dazzling European countries could soon get a high-speed train link

Despite sharing a border, a direct service hasn’t operated since 2008

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

Rail travellers, rejoice! It looks like Europe is on track to offer yet another high-speed train link, and it could be launching very, very soon. 

This time, it’s Italy and Slovenia set to get a speedy train link. Though they share a border, the two countries haven’t been connected by a direct train service since 2008, but that might be about to change. 

Italian rail operator Trenitalia tested a route between Venice and the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana back in December. It departed from Mestre in Venice, and zoomed through Portogruaro, Monfalcone and Bivio Aurisina, before arriving in Sesana, which is around 80km southwest of Ljubljana. However, there are hopes to create a direct train that runs all the way from Milan.

Clearly the test went well, as a potential launch date of June 9, 2024 was announced on X (fka Twitter) on Friday, February 2, by Ferrovie.Info – but this is still to be confirmed by Trenitalia. 

According to the Man in Seat 61, services could look like this: trains would depart Milan Centrale 3.15pm and arrive in Ljubljana 10.09pm, or depart Ljubljana at 06.55am and pull up in Milan at 13.45pm. 

That’s around seven hours compared to just under three hours flying – but with all that standing around at airports, it could be a just as efficient mode of transport (not to mention much more sustainable). 

‘The time seems to be ripe for the restoration of a cross-border service between the two countries,’ reads FS Italiane’s website, Italy’s state-owned operator. And they’re not wrong – with the abundance of high-speed services cropping up all over Europe, there couldn’t be better time to jump on the high-speed bandwagon. 

And it’s not just Italy and Slovenia. The revitalisation of rail travel in Europe means a whole host of cities will soon be connected. That’s not to mention all of Europe’s new sleeper services, such as this one between Paris and Berlin, which took off on its first journey this week.

Did you see that Spain has a brand-new winter train service?

Plus: This European capital has been named the world’s best city destination in 2023

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