Milano Centrale railway station
|Location||Piazza Duca d'Aosta
|Owned by||Rete Ferroviaria Italiana|
|Operated by||Grandi Stazioni|
|Opened||1 July 1931|
|Passengers||120 million per year|
Milano Centrale is the main railway station of the City of Milan, Italy and one of the main railway stations in Europe. The station is a terminus and located at the northern end of central Milan. It was officially inaugurated in 1931 to replace the old central station (built 1864), which was a transit station and could not handle the increased traffic caused by the opening of the Simplon tunnel in 1906.
Milano Centrale has high speed connections to Turin in the west, Venice via Verona in the east and on the north-south mainline to Bologna, Rome, Naples and Salerno. The Simplon and Gotthard railway lines connect Milano Centrale to Bern via Domodossola and Zürich via Chiasso in Switzerland.
Destinations of intercity and regional railways radiate from Milano Centrale to Ventimiglia (border of France), Genova, Turin, Domodossola (border of Swiss Canton of Valais/Wallis), Tirano (border of Swiss Canton of Graubünden/Grisons), Bergamo, Verona, Mantova, Bologna and La Spezia.
The Milan suburban railway service, however, does not use Milano Centrale but the other mainline stations: Porta Garibaldi (northwest), Cadorna (west) and Rogoredo (east).
The first Milano Centrale station opened in 1864 in the area now occupied by the Piazza della Repubblica, south of the modern station. It was designed by French architect Louis-Jules Bouchot (1817–1907) and its architectural style was reminiscent of Parisian buildings of that period. The station was designed to replace Porta Tosa station (opened in 1846 as the terminus of the line to Treviglio and eventually Venice) and Porta Nuova station (opened in 1850 as the second terminus on the line to Monza, which was eventually extended to Chiasso) and was interconnected with all lines, either existing or under construction, surrounding Milan. It remained in operation until 30 June 1931, when the current station was opened. There is now no trace of the old station left.
King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy laid the cornerstone of the new station on April 28, 1906, before a blueprint for the station had even been chosen. The last, real, contest for its construction was won in 1912 by architect Ulisse Stacchini, whose design was modeled after Union Station in Washington, DC, and the construction of the new station began.
Due to the Italian economic crisis during World War I, construction proceeded very slowly, and the project, rather simple at the beginning, kept changing and became more and more complex and majestic. This happened especially when Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister, and wanted the station to represent the power of the Fascist regime. The major changes were the new platform types and the introduction of the great steel canopies by Alberto Fava; 341 m (1,119 ft) long and covering an area of 66,500 square metres (716,000 sq ft).
Construction resumed in earnest in 1925 and on July 1, 1931, the station was officially opened in the presence of Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano.
Its façade is 200 metres (660 ft) wide and its vault is 72 metres (236 ft) high, a record when it was built. It has 24 platforms. Each day about 330,000 passengers use the station, totaling about 120 million per year.
The station has no definite architectural style, but is a blend of many different styles, especially Liberty and Art Deco, but not limited to those. It is adorned with numerous sculptures. “The ‘incongruous envelope of stone’ (Attilio Pracchi) of this gigantic and monumental building dominates Piazza Duca d’Aosta.” 
On September 25, 2006, officials announced a €100 million project, already in progress, to refurbish the station. Of the total cost, €20 million has been allocated to restore "certain areas of high artistic value" while the remaining €80 million will be used for more general improvements to the station to make it more functional with the current railway services. The project includes moving the ticket office and installing new elevators and escalators for increased accessibility.
The station has 24 tracks. Every day about 320,000 passengers pass through the station using about 500 trains, for an annual total of 120 million passengers. The station is served by national and international routes, with both long-distance and regional lines. Daily international destinations include Bern, Lugano, Geneva, Zürich, Paris, Vienna, Barcelona and Munich.
The following services call at the station (incomplete):
- High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciarossa) Turin-Salerno: Turin Porta Nuova - Turin Porta Susa - Milan Centrale - Milan Rogoredo - Rome Tiburtina - Rome Termini - Naples Centrale - Salerno
- High speed train (Trenitalia Frecciarossa) Milan-Bari: Milan - Bologna - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia – Bari
- High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciarossa) Milan-Venice: Milan - Brescia - Peschiera del Garda - Verona - Vicenza - Padua - Venice
- High-speed train (Italo NTV) Turin-Salerno: Turin - Milan - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
- High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciabianca) Turin-Venice: Turin - Novara - Milan - Brescia - Verona - Vicenza - Padua - Venice - (Trieste)
- High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciabianca) Milan-Lecce: Milan - Piacenza - Parma - Reggio d'Emilia - Modena - Bologna - Rimini - Pesaro - Ancona - Pescara - Termoli - Foggia - Bari - Brindisi - Lecce
- High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciabianca) Milan-Bari/Taranto: Milan - Modena - Bologna - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia - Bari - Taranto
- Airport train (Trenord Malpensa Express) Milan-Malpensa Airport: Milan - (Busto Arsizio) - Malpensa Airport
- Intercity train (Trenitalia Intercity) Milan-Lecce: Milan - Parma - Modena - Bologna - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia - Trani - Bari - Fasano - Brindisi - Lecce
- Intercity train (Trenitalia Intercity) Milan-Livorno: Milan - Pavia - Tortona - Genova Piazza Principe - Genova Brignole - Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino - Rapallo - Chiavari - Sestri Levante - Levanto - Monterosso - La Spezia Centrale - Massa Centro - Viareggio - Pisa Centrale - Livorno Centrale
- Intercity train (Trenitalia Intercity) Milan-Ventimiglia: Milan - Pavia - Genova - San Remo - Ventimiglia
- Night train (Trenitalia Intercity Notte) Milan-Lecce: Milan - Piacenza - Parma - Reggio d'Emilia - Modena - Bologna - Cesana - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia - Bari - Trani - Brindisi - Lecce
- Regional train (Trenitalia Regionale Veloce) Turin-Milan: Turin - Vercelli - Novara - Milan
- Regional train (Trenitalia Regional) Milan-Alessandria: Milan - Pavia - Voghera - Tortona - Alessandria
- Regional train (Trenord Regio) Milan-Verona: Milan - Brescia - Peschiera del Garda - Verona
- Regional train (Trenord Regio) Milan-Tirano: Milan - Lecco - Sondrio - Tirano
- Regional train (Trenord Regio) Milan-Mantua: Milan - Lodi - Codgono - Cremona - Piadana - Mantova
- Regional train (Trenord Regio) Milan-Bergamo: Milan - Treviglio - Bergamo
- Historic train (Fondazione FS/Trenitalia Storico) Milan-Varallo: Milan - Novara - Varallo Sesia
Cross-border (Night train)
(CH for Switzerland, D for Germany, A for Austria, F for France, MN for Monaco)
- Night train (Thello EuroNight) Paris-Venice: Venice - Padua - Verona - Milan (Centrale) - Milan (Rho-Fiera for Expo 2015) - Dijon (F) - Paris (F)
- Night train (DB City Night Line) Munich-Milan/Rome: Milan - Brescia - Verona^ - (Rovereto/Rofreit) - (Trento/Trient) - Bolzano/Bozen - (Brennero/Brenner) - Innsbruck (A) - Jenbach (A) - Kufstein (A) - Munich (D)
- Night train (ÖBB EuroNight) Vienna-Milan/Rome: Milan - Brescia - Verona^ - Padua - Venice (Mestre) - Villach (A) - Klagenfurt (A) - Leoben (A) - Vienna/Wien (A)
^ Train connects at Verona to provide connections to Rome.
- Regional train (TiLo Regio) Milan-Bellinzona: Milan - Monza - Como (San Giovanni) - Chiasso (CH) - Lugano (CH) - Bellinzona (CH)
- Intercity train (SBB-CFF-FSS EuroCity) Geneva-Milan/Venice: Geneva/Genf (CH) - Lausanne/Losanen (CH) - Brig (CH) - Domodossola - Milan - (Brescia) - (Verona) - (Padua) - (Venice)
- Intercity train (SBB-CFF-FSS EuroCity) Basel-Milan: Basel SBB (CH) - Bern/Berne (CH) - Thun (CH) - Brig (CH) - Domodossola - Stresa - Busto Arsizio - Milan
- Intercity train (SBB-CFF-FSS EuroCity) Zürich-Milan: Zürich (CH) - Zug (CH) - Arth-Goldau (CH) - Bellinzona (CH) - Lugano (CH) - Chiasso (CH) - Como (San Giovanni) - Monza - Milan
- Intercity train (SBB-CFF-FSS EuroCity) Luzern-Milan: Luzern (CH) - Arth-Goldau (CH) - Bellinzona (CH) - Lugano (CH) - Chiasso (CH) - Como (San Giovanni) - Monza - Milan
- Intercity train (Thello EuroCity) Milan-Marseilles: Milan - Genoa - San Remo - Menton (F) - Monaco Monte Carlo (MN) - Nice (F) - Cannes (F) - Marseille (F)
|Preceding station||Trenitalia||Following station|
toward Bari Centrale
toward Turin Porta Nuova
toward Trieste Centrale
toward Basel SBB
toward Geneva Cornavin
toward Venice Santa Lucia
toward Paris-Gare de Lyon
|Preceding station||Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori||Following station|
|Preceding station||Trenord||Following station|
toward Malpensa Aeroporto
toward Malpensa Aeroporto
toward Verona Porta Nuova
Each platform is usually dedicated to some particular route. The current organization is as follows, although temporary changes may occur.
- Platforms 1-3: Chiasso/Domodossola/Milan-Turin (ES* AV)
- Platforms 4-6: Turin/Cisalpino Milan–Como–Arth Goldau–Basel / Zürich
- Platforms 7-13: Venice / Udine
- Platforms 14-17: Bologna–Florence–Rome–Naples
- Platforms 18-23: Genoa-Livorno / Ventimiglia / Parma /Cremona-Mantua /Milan-Treviglio-Bergamo
- Platform 24: Operations
Unusual track layout
On the northern side of the railway yard there used to be a loop curve so that trains could turn around and reverse back into the station. The trains could so be displaced from the left side of the station to the right side and vice versa without crossing all the tracks. The tracks on the loop curve are partially broken up.
- History of rail transport in Italy
- List of railway stations in Lombardy
- Rail transport in Italy
- Railway stations in Milan
- Railway stations in Italy
- see also Milano Repubblica railway station
- Touring Club Guida di Milano, p. 471
- "100mln Euros to requalify Milan Railway Central Station". AGI. 2006-09-25. Archived from the original on January 5, 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-28.
- "International Destinations". Ferrovie dello Stato. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- Can easily be seen on Google Earth and most old maps
- official page at Grandistazioni website
- Winchester, Clarence, ed. (1936), "Milan Central station", Railway Wonders of the World, pp. 546–552 illustrated contemporary description of the station
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