Is there no direct train going from Basel to Milano?

  • 5 September 2023
  • 3 replies

Hi everyone, 

I hope to travel with my husband and two young kids from Basel to Milano and I'm trying to figure out how to interpret all the info regarding the Gotthard tunnel. 

Does the train from Basel to Milano (transfer at Bellinzona) also go through this tunnel? The schedule, shown below, shows the delay after Bellinzona, but isn't the tunnel before this city? 



Also, SBB advises ( to travel via Zuerich (quote below), but isn't that the same train that ends up going through the tunnel as the one from Basel to Bellinzona?


I hope someone can shed some light on this for me. We're actually travelling the night before from the Nederlands to Basel and hope to travel from Basel to Rome the next day (hence my questions on the Basel - Milano stretch).


Best answer by thibcabe 5 September 2023, 14:35

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Please use a reliable planner, in this case SBB app or All trains are diverted via the Old Gotthard Line (scenic !) and take an hour longer. To save money (and time !) it is recommended to switch to the fast hourly reservation-free RE in Lugano.

- IC Basel SBB - Lugano 07:03 - 10:48

- RE Lugano - Milano Centrale 11:02 - 12:17

- FR Milano Centrale - Roma Termini 13:00 - 16:15 13€*

Some Basel - Milan ECs go via Bern and Domodossola but the Italian part is currently closed due to engineering works until 10th September. For further questions please mention your travel date. :)

*best bought on to avoid booking fees. Add Interrail as a discount and select one-way tickets.

EDIT : If you are getting to Basel with the night train it is wise to have a margin there since night trains are often delayed.

Actually with the pass you have a lot of flexibility : only Milan - Rome needs to be booked so choose any train you'd like after 13:00. In between you could stop in Basel, Lucerne, Lugano, Milan,... as you wish, trains are frequent and do not need a reservation (not possible nor needed).

Thank you so much for all your advice! 

Yes, I should have mentioned a travel date: We're taking the night train on the 13th of October, so the Basil - Rome trip will be October 14th.

This will be our first time travelling with Interrail (and going this far) plus travelling with kids, so I'm really gratefull for all this info. 

Userlevel 7
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Okay then both routes will be possible in October : Simplon or Old Gotthard Line. Both pretty scenic with a preference for the latter.

I'd suggest booking a Frecciarossa out of Milan after 13:00 and before that "go with the flow".