[IT] Milan: Metro, Tram and World Fair

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22 Jan 2013

I could not resist the Deutsche Bahn Italia offer of 59€ one-way to Milan. So I hoppened on a train for 7 hours (from south western Germany) for a trip to the Expo World Fair. As part of the trip I managed to take some pictures of tram and metro too.

The train ride alone was worth the trip. On the way out I used the route via the Gotthard to Chiasso (beautiful when the line ran along the Lake Zürich and then started to climp up the Gotthard). The return journey was via the Simplon to Brig and onward to Germany. As there was so much to see, the 7 hours passed faster than expected.


Th metro netowrk in Milan consists of 4 lines (M1 to M3 and M5). The M5 is the youngest part ot the network. Like metro C in Rome the line is fully automated. I used every day when I rode from my hotel into the city. As the line is new, the station are a lot brighter than on the other lines (very nice for taking pictures ;))

Barriers in station Ca Granda. At some stations I also had to use the ticket when exiting

Platform doors shield the tracks until the train has arrived

Inside a train of line M5

My favourite in terms of station design: P. Garibaldi. The station offers a transfer to line M2 and Milans suburban rail network

Mezzanine level of P. Garibaldi rail station

Most parts of the metro network are below the surface, so not much chance to catch trains in daylight. Different types of rolling stock of line M2 above ground around Cassina Gobba station

Interiour and exteriour shots of trains of line M3 (coloured yellow on the network map)

On lines M1 to M3 different types of rolling stock were in use. Some without air conditioning which made the ride very hard as summer was in full swing. I picture of a thermometer taken at the pharmacy next to the hotel (to quote the movie "A few good men": "0600 in the morning"? Yes.

Customer information in the metro ranged from bare audible, Italian only annoucements to info screen like below (M1)

to LCD displays and English announcements (M5).


Apart from the metro, Milan as large tram network. The types of rolling stock used vary from vintage to modern. A mixed bouquet of shots taken at different points around the city.

I used one of these to get from my hotel back to the station when I left. The ride was a bit bumpy, but a the perfect ending for the trip (additionally, it was a one seat ride and I did have to haul my luggage around the metro system)

Zoom on a tram taken from the terrasse of the Cathedral

A pretty nice yellow on the ouside, but a really ugly green on the inside

The design looked familiar. Later I found out it us train of type Eurotram, which is also used in Strasbourg, France.

Green tram on green grass near M5 terminus Bignami

Sightseeing and Expo

At the end some sightseeing pictures and impressions from the world fair.

A must see: The Cathedral. Pretty unusual for a Catholic church: They charge an admission fee. Church only is 2€.

I opted for the 11€ package that included access to the terasses, which gave a nice view over Milan and offered a chance to take a closer look at the stonemasonry artwork of the building.

In the mood for shopping? In "Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II" you can crack any limit you have on your credit card.

The World Fair offered some great architecture like the Chinise pavilion

Or do you prefer Russian mirros?

Ecuador is pretty colourful.

At some pavilions (like the Japanese) you had a to queue for about an hour to get in. I was in no mood to that so I skipped several pavilions that I planned to visit (39° temperature takes a bit of the fun away from queueing too).

Want to see something unusual? How about a model train with a landscape made of chocolate (can be seen in the Polish pavilion - thinking back about this I can smell the chocolate again).

This concludes my little compilation of impressions from Milan. I hope you liked it. Both the Expo and the city are worth a trip.

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RailUK Forums


23 Nov 2012
Really enjoyed that, something different indeed! Great quality photos too :)

The modern trains look fantastic, but who operates the doors on the metro?
7 Nov 2013
Where my keyboard has no £ key
Thank you for posting.

I lived near Milan around 25 years ago, so 50% of your pictures were good memories for me, the other 50% showed many interesting new developments - especially the new Porta Garibaldi Station.
Your report also reminded me of the Milanese weather - high temperatures & humidity in summer, damp fogs in autumn & winter!

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Well I just managed to upset my wife (who's Italian) by showing her these pictures. What I hadn't noticed, but she did straight away, is that looking down the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, directly at the end is a large McDonald's!
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22 Jan 2013
@eastwestdivide: Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of the train journey.

@CC 72100: M5 had a relatively light load. The other lines were a lot more crowded.
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