Ticino (train)

Last updated


RAe TEE in Airolo (Ticino), 2003
Service type Trans Europ Express (TEE)
EuroCity (EC)
Locale Switzerland
First service 1 July 1961 (1961-07-01)
Last service 2008
Former operator(s) Swiss Federal Railways
Start Milan
End Zürich /
Munich (1974–1982)
Distance travelled 293 km
Service frequency Daily
Rolling stock RAe TEE
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 3000 V DC (Italy)
15 kV AC, 16.7 Hz (Switzerland and Germany)
Route map
Route of the TEE Ticino 1961-1982 and 1993-2001 (not showing the Zurich-Munich section, served 1974-1982) TEE Gottardo 1961.svg
Route of the TEE Ticino 1961–1982 and 1993–2001 (not showing the Zurich–Munich section, served 1974–1982)

The Ticino was an express train that linked Milan in Italy, with Zürich, Switzerland and for some years even to Munich, Germany. The train was named after the Canton of Ticino in the south of Switzerland. [1] Introduced in 1961, it was a first-class-only Trans Europ Express (TEE) service until 1974. Later, it was a EuroCity service.

Express train a train which travels fast and makes few stops

Express trains are a form of rail service. Express trains make only a small number of stops, instead of stopping locally. In some cases, trains run express where there is overlapping local train service available, and run local at the tail ends of the line, where there is no supplemental local service. During overnight hours, or other times where it is practical, express trains may become local, but still running to where an express train would terminate.

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan area has a population of 3,244,365. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Munich Place in Bavaria, Germany

Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to 6 million people. Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany. Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna.


Trans Europ Express

When launched on 1 July 1961, the Ticino was one of three Trans Europ Express services that filled a gap between the northern and southern parts of the TEE network.

Rolling stock

The TEE Ticino, TEE Gottardo and TEE Cisalpin were the first electric TEE trains; all other TEEs in operation at that time used diesel-powered trains. [2] These services through Switzerland were operated by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS) with purpose-built Swiss quadruple-voltage RAe TEE II trainsets. Each trainset worked a four-day schedule:

<i>Cisalpin</i> (train)

The Cisalpin was an express train that linked Paris-Gare de Lyon in Paris, France, with Milano Centrale in Milan, Italy. Introduced in 1961, it was operated by the SNCF, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS) and the Italian State Railways (FS).

Diesel engine Internal combustion engine with quality rotational frequency governing, internal mixture formation, lean air-fuel-ratio, diffusion flame and compression ignition

The Diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel, is an internal combustion engine in which ignition of the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber, is caused by the elevated temperature of the air in the cylinder due to the mechanical compression. Diesel engines work by compressing only the air. This increases the air temperature inside the cylinder to such a high degree that atomised Diesel fuel injected into the combustion chamber ignites spontaneously. With the fuel being injected into the air just before combustion, the dispersion of the fuel is uneven; this is called a heterogenous air-fuel mixture. The process of mixing air and fuel happens almost entirely during combustion, the oxygen diffuses into the flame, which means that the Diesel engine operates with a diffusion flame. The torque a Diesel engine produces is controlled by manipulating the air ratio; this means, that instead of throttling the intake air, the Diesel engine relies on altering the amount of fuel that is injected, and the air ratio is usually high.

Swiss Federal Railways national railway company of Switzerland

Swiss Federal Railways is the national railway company of Switzerland. It is usually referred to by the initials of its German, French and Italian names, either concatenated as SBB CFF FFS, or used separately. The Romansh version of its name, Viafiers federalas svizras, is not officially used.

Schedule and operation

The Ticino was designated as MZ1 and ZM4 in the timetable of 1961. The train's only stop in Ticino was the city of Lugano; the Swiss–Italian border just north of Como was crossed without stopping. This was made possible with the semi-automated voltage and frequency change system, which lowered the train's pantograph for the change of the electrical system. The train operator pressed a button for the Italian or Swiss electrical system after passing the border and an on-board switcher reconfigured the train's power settings for the different overhead line voltage and raised the correct pantograph. [4] With the European train-numbering system, introduced in 1971, the Ticino was given the train numbers 56 and 57.

Lugano Place in Ticino, Switzerland

Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino bordering Italy. It has a population of 63,494, and an urban agglomeration of over 145,000. The 9th largest Swiss city, it is the largest in Ticino and largest with an Italian speaking majority outside of Italy. The city lies on Lake Lugano, surrounded by the mountains of the Lugano Prealps. The eastern part of the city shares a border with Italy.

Como Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Como is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy. It is the administrative capital of the Province of Como.

Railway electrification system electric power to railway trains and trams without an on-board prime mover or local fuel supply

A railway electrification system supplies electric power to railway trains and trams without an on-board prime mover or local fuel supply. Electric railways use electric locomotives to haul passengers or freight in separate cars or electric multiple units, passenger cars with their own motors. Electricity is typically generated in large and relatively efficient generating stations, transmitted to the railway network and distributed to the trains. Some electric railways have their own dedicated generating stations and transmission lines but most purchase power from an electric utility. The railway usually provides its own distribution lines, switches and transformers.

Timetable of 1971/72: [5]

TEE 57 country station km TEE 56
12:40 Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Zürich 0 12:15
15:30 Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Lugano 216 09:17
16:55 Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Como 247 09:49
17:29 Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Milano Centrale 293 09:15

These times are shown in local time, but at that time, Switzerland was in the Central European time zone and Italy in the Eastern European time zone, which differed by one hour. The actual travel time between Lugano and Como was 25 minutes.

D Train

Extension of the route to Basel, northwest of Zürich, was proposed several times during the years, but this would have meant the withdrawal of the afternoon service to Milan. In 1974, when the rolling stock was needed for the TEE Edelweiss and the Basel – Milan service provided since 1969 by the TEE Roland , the Ticino was withdrawn from the TEE network, on 25 May 1974. [6] The Ticino was converted into a locomotive-hauled, two-class Schnellzug (express train, or D-train) and the route was extended to Munich, in Germany. This D-train service was discontinued on 22 May 1982. [7]

<i>Edelweiss</i> (train) train running between Belgium and Switzerland (1928–1999)

The Edelweiss was an international express train. For most of its existence, it linked the Netherlands with Switzerland, via Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Introduced in 1928, it was named after a mountain flower, the Edelweiss, which is associated with alpinism and the Alps, and regarded as a symbol of Switzerland.

<i>Roland</i> (train)

The Roland was an express train that ran in Germany. For part of its existence, it was also an international train. Introduced in 1939, suspended during World War II, and reintroduced in 1952, it was operated in Germany by the Deutsche Reichsbahn Gesellschaft (DRG), the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) and the Deutsche Bahn (DB), respectively.


A Schnellzug is an express train in German-speaking countries, where it refers to trains that do not stop at all stations along a line. The term is used both generically and also as a specific train type. In Germany and Austria it is also referred to colloquially as a D-Zug, a short form of Durchgangszug, and express train services were often given numbers preceded by the letter D. The similar term, snälltåg, was used in Sweden until January 1980.


The Ticino was revived as a EuroCity service on 23 May 1993 on its original route, as train EC 51/56. [8] On 29 May 1995, the Ticino lost its quality label and continued as InterCity service. In 1997, the rolling stock was replaced by FS Class ETR 470 tilting trains operated by Cisalpino. On 10 June 2001, the route was changed to Milan – Basel, and on 11 December 2005 the EuroCity label was regained. [7] The Ticino was discontinued in the fall of 2008.

EuroCity train in Europe

EuroCity, abbreviated as EC, is a cross-border train category within the European inter-city rail network. In contrast to trains allocated to the lower-level "IC" (InterCity) category, EC trains are international services that meet 20 criteria covering comfort, speed, food service, and cleanliness. Each EC train is operated by more than one European Union or Swiss rail company, under a multilateral co-operative arrangement, and all EC trains link important European cities with each other.


InterCity is the classification applied to certain long-distance passenger train services in Europe. Such trains generally call at major stations only.

FS Class ETR 470

ETR 470 is a high-speed tilting Electric Multiple Unit introduced in 1993 and produced in nine units for the ItaloSwiss firm Cisalpino. They were produced by Fiat Ferroviaria, and could tilt up to 8°.

Related Research Articles

Trans Europ Express former international first-class railway service in western and central Europe

The Trans Europ Express, or Trans-Europe Express (TEE), is a former international first-class railway service in western and central Europe that was founded in 1957 and ceased in 1995. At the height of its operations, in 1974, the TEE network comprised 45 trains, connecting 130 different cities, from Spain in the west to Austria in the east, and from Denmark to Southern Italy.


The RAe TEE II, later known as RABe EC, is a type of high-speed electric multiple unit trainset of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS), which was used from the 1960s until the 1980s on several Trans Europ Express services.

<i>Bavaria</i> (train) former train on the Trans-Europ-Express connection Zurich-Munich

The Bavaria was an express train that linked München Hbf in Munich, Germany, with Zürich HB in Zurich, Switzerland. Introduced in the 1950s, it ran through to Geneva until 1969, when it was cut back to Zurich. The train was named on the basis that Bavaria is the Latin equivalent to the German word Bayern, the official name of the federal state of Bavaria, of which Munich is the capital. It was operated by the Deutsche Bundesbahn / Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS). The route also included a single stop in Austria, at Bregenz. The 24 km (15 mi) section between Lindau, Germany, and St. Margrethen, Switzerland, is located mostly in Austria, but Swiss locomotives hauled the train over this section, most of which is part of the Vorarlberg line of Austrian Federal Railways.

<i>Arbalète</i> (train) Paris to Zurich train (1957–1997)

The Arbalète was an express train that linked Paris-Est in Paris, France, with Zürich HB in Zurich, Switzerland. Introduced in 1957, it was operated by the SNCF and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS).

<i>Iris</i> (train) express train

The Iris is an express train that links Brussels Midi/Zuid in Brussels, Belgium, with Chur station in Chur, Switzerland.

<i>Helvetia</i> (train) train service

The Helvetia was an express train that, for most of its existence, linked Hamburg-Altona station in Hamburg, Germany, with Zürich HB in Zurich, Switzerland. Introduced in 1952, it was operated by the Deutsche Bundesbahn / Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS). The train's name, Helvetia, is the Latin word for "Switzerland".

<i>Gottardo</i> (train)

The Gottardo was an express train that, for most of its existence, linked Zurich, Switzerland, with Milan, Italy. Introduced in 1961, it was a first-class-only Trans Europ Express (TEE) until 1988, then becoming a EuroCity service and finally a EuroNight service – on a longer route, to Rome – before being discontinued in 2002. The train followed the Gotthard railway and was named for the line, using the Italian spelling for it, Ferrovia del Gottardo.

<i>Mediolanum</i> (train) train service

The word Mediolanum has been used to name three distinct international express trains that have run to and from Milano Centrale in Milan, Italy since 1957. The focus of these trains on the city now known as Milan reflects the fact that Mediolanum is the Latin word for ancient Milan.

<i>Catalan Talgo</i> train service

The Catalan Talgo was an international express train introduced in 1969 that linked Geneva, Switzerland, with Barcelona, Spain. It was named after the Spanish region Catalonia and the Talgo equipment it used. It was an extension and upgrading of a predecessor train, Le Catalan, a first-class-only French (SNCF) Rapide train that had been in operation since 1955 but running only between Geneva and the stations nearest the Spanish-French border, connecting with a second-class-only "autorail" trainset to and from Barcelona. The national railway network of Spain, Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles (RENFE), was using Iberian gauge for all of its main lines, while those of France and Switzerland use standard gauge. As a result of this break-of-gauge, train journeys between Geneva and Barcelona consisted of two separate parts, with travelers having to change from a French to a Spanish train or vice versa at the border—at Portbou on southbound trains and at Cerbère on northbound trains. In 1968, this was resolved with the introduction of the Talgo III RD trainsets, which featured variable gauge wheelsets. At Portbou station, the wheel spacing of each passenger carriage was adjusted by a gauge changer for the difference in gauge, and passengers no longer had to change trains. After successful test runs, the Catalan was extended from Port Bou to Barcelona as a through train on 1 June 1969, becoming the Catalan Talgo and upgraded to a Trans Europ Express (TEE). Most other rail journeys through this border crossing continued to require a change of train at Cerbère station or at Port Bou, as most trains did not use Talgo III RD trainsets.

<i>Ligure</i> (train)

The Ligure was an international express train operated by the Italian Railways linking Milan with the Côte d'Azur. The train was named after the Italian region Liguria which was served by the train.

<i>Île de France</i> (train)

The Île de France was an international express train on the PBA route (Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam). The train was named after the French region surrounding Paris.

The Lemano was an international express train linking Milan with Geneva. The train is named after Lake Geneva, the north shore of which was followed by the train over the lake's entire length. Introduced in 1958, it was a first-class-only Trans Europ Express service until 1982, and thereafter a two-class express train.

<i>LOiseau Bleu</i> (train) Paris–Antwerp train (1929–1984)

L'Oiseau Bleu was an international express train linking Antwerp with Paris. The train was named after the play L'Oiseau Bleu as a tribute to its author, the Belgian Nobel prize laureate Maurice Maeterlinck.

<i>Mont Cenis</i> (train)

The Mont Cenis was an international express train linking Lyon in France with Milan in Italy. The train was named after the mountain range through which it crossed, inside the Fréjus Rail Tunnel on the French-Italian border.

<i>Rembrandt</i> (train) train

The Rembrandt was an express train that linked Amsterdam in the Netherlands, with Munich in Germany and later Chur in Switzerland. The train was named after the renowned Dutch painter Rembrandt. For its first 16 years it was a first-class-only Trans Europ Express, becoming a two-class InterCity in 1983 and finally a EuroCity in 1987.

<i>Colosseum</i> (train)

The Colosseum was an express train initially linking Rome and Milan, later Frankfurt am Main. The train was named after the Amphitheatrum Flavium, renowned as the Colosseum.


  1. TEE, p. 24.
  2. La Légende des TEE, p. 60.
  3. Ikone der Luxuszüge, p. 92.
  4. Ikone der Luxuszüge, p. 78.
  5. Vorfahrt in Europa, table. 22
  6. "Summer services, 1974" (changes due to take effect). Thomas Cook Continental Timetable (March 29–April 25, 1974 edition), p. 465. Peterborough, UK: Thomas Cook Publishing.
  7. 1 2 La Légende des TEE, p. 227.
  8. Thomas Cook Continental Timetable (May 1–22, 1993 edition), pp. 89–90, 545.

Works cited

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