Trenitalia service cancellation (Gotthard tunnel), 21st Aug: what are my alternatives?

  • 17 August 2023
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 1

Hi folks -

First time here, so apologies if I’m in the wrong place, or asking the wrong kind of question!

I have a reservation for next Monday, 21st Aug, (made last week through for x2 passengers from Basel to Bologna (changing in Milan). But I have just received an SMS from Trenitalia to say the first leg of this (EuroCity 153, Basel-Milan, Dep 15:03) is cancelled.😒 The message was not entirely clear on the cause, but googling around indicates that it is presumably due to the recent freight train derailment in the Gotthard tunnel (but that’s a week ago, so unclear why they are only cancelling NOW).

Anyway, I’m now trying to find an alternative routing, but don’t think I can trust the interrail planner (which seems to still show the original service). So any help or advice would be appreciated.

NB: my journey actually starts in Paris. I have a separate reservation from Paris to Strasbourg arriving at 12:41. I was planning to make an (unreserved) connection to Basel (arriving at 14:08): but if it is now easier to take some different route from Strasbourg to Italy (i.e., instead of via Basel) then that is also possible.

Many thanks - Barry


Best answer by thibcabe 17 August 2023, 19:14

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Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Trains run over the old scenic railway every 30 min-1h, it takes an hour longer. Schedule is online on or SBB app.

It was only known yesterday that the tunnel wouldn't open for passenger service until at least the end of the year.

Unfortunately via the old railway you arrive in Milan at 20:17 which means that you're unable to take the last Frecciarossa at 20:10. You'd have to board the slower night train : 21:15 - 23:35.

It would be better to leave earlier or if not possible go via Geneva/Lausanne even if there are replacement buses between Domodossola and Milan… (not ideal)

Option via Strasbourg :

- TGV Paris-Est - Strasbourg 09:25 - 11:11 loads of seats available

- TER Strasbourg - Basel SBB 11:21 - 12:40

- IC Basel SBB - Lugano 13:03 - 16:50

- RE Lugano - Milano Centrale 17:02 - 18:17

- FR Milano Centrale - Bologna Centrale 18:30 - 19:34 or 19:00 - 20:04

Interrail customer support will probably be understanding and will change your TGV reservation to another train. Contact them here mentioning travel date :

Userlevel 1

Hi -

Many thanks for that quick, and very detailed, reply - much appreciated. I’ll try for an earlier routing from Paris as you suggest!

Kind regards - Barry

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You're welcome. I forgot to add the link, my bad...

Hope they answer in time... (mention that it is urgent). Worst case : you buy the new reservations and get a refund afterwards.