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5 things passengers must do on Europe's high-speed 400 kph train – Business Insider

The Frecciarossa, which translates as “red arrow,” runs throughout Italy on the country’s high-speed railway network. The fleet consists of two trains, including the Frecciarossa 1000, which can travel at top speeds of 400 kph, and the Frecciarossa ETR 500, which can hit 300 kph, per train operator Trenitalia’s website.
This makes Italy’s iconic, red train the fastest fleet of trains in the country and one of the quickest high-speed trains in Europe.
Rome, Milan, Florence, and Naples are just some of the popular Italian hotspots that the Frecciarossa stops at. Its affordability compared to other trains in Europe makes it an attractive mode of transport for passengers to reach places in a shorter time.
As for classes, the Frecciarossa offers four levels, including standard, premium, business, and executive. From my experience, there was a significant difference between the highest and lowest class.
I was intrigued to find out how fast the Frecciarossa traveled and whether its need for speed superseded the quality of the train’s interior.
In comparison with Italy’s regional trains, which take nearly two hours to travel between northern cities Milan and Turin, the journey on the Frecciarossa only lasted one hour.
The time went by even more quickly when I was sitting in executive class because of its relaxing ambiance and luxury feel. The carriage was secluded from the rest of the train, and there was no chance of passengers wandering through because it was the first coach and had only one entrance.
Standard class was still a pleasant and affordable experience for $14, although it was certainly not as comfortable nor as exclusive as executive class.
As a passenger, there were five entertaining features from my Frecciarossa journeys, which travelers should watch out for.
 
The information screens were available in every carriage, from standard to executive class.
The screens showed the real-time speed the train was traveling at — an important feature considering the Frecciarossa is classed as one of the fastest trains in Europe. My eyes were glued to the screen as I watched the speed climb and drop throughout the journey. The maximum speed the train hit was nearly 300 kph.
As well as the speed, the screens showed the location of the train on a map, the next stop, the estimated time of arrival at the next station, and the weather.
They also showed live footage of the view from a camera positioned at the front of the train. This made the journey more interactive for passengers, even though the camera lens was quite dirty, and consequently blurry.
As I walked into the executive-class carriage, I passed a meeting room, which was separated by curved, glass doors. Inside, there were five leather swivel chairs, a long table with power sockets, and a coat rack.
The conference room wasn’t in use while I was traveling — in fact there was only one other passenger in the executive-class coach. But it seemed very professional and suitable for work meetings.
In general, the whole carriage seemed targeted toward business people on the move.
Something invaluable that wasn’t included in the ticket price was the view from the window.
Between Milan and Turin, the Frecciarossa drove through the north Italian countryside, passing smaller towns, such as Novara and Chivasso.
On a clear day, passengers can see the Alps, the highest mountain range in Europe, in the background. Unfortunately, the mountains were covered by clouds on the day I traveled.
The land surrounding the railway in that part of Italy was extremely flat, consisting mainly of rice fields and a main highway. You could really get a sense of how fast the train was traveling as it sped past the cars and trucks.
 
What made the experience in executive class so much more luxurious were the large, champagne-colored seats.
They were able to rotate 180 degrees, and had foldaway tables, reading lights, a reclining backrest, and a foot rest that passengers could control with buttons on the arm of the chair.
The seats were 74 centimeters wide, which made it super comfortable and worth every penny of the $78 ticket. They were also spaced out 1.5 meters away from each other, which offered some privacy.
There were USB points and plug sockets at the front of the seat, ideal for charging your phone and other tech gadgets during the journey. 
These seats were a massive upgrade from the ones in standard class, which were rather narrow and uncomfortable.
Passengers sitting in executive class have the choice of traditional Italian food from three menus, according to Trenitalia’s website. Each meal includes a main dish, snack, dessert, and a bottle of water.
Despite my eagerness, I wasn’t provided with this service. A staff member onboard the train offered me a small drink and a choice of a sweet or savory snack. I chose prosecco and vegetable crips.
Riding on the Frecciarossa was a fun and affordable experience for all passengers, whether they’re tourists, locals, or business people.
It was a great alternative to driving or booking the slower, regional trains. There were so many features onboard, which made the journey easier and more interesting for passengers, such as the information screens and rotating seats in executive class.
On my next Frecciarossa trip, I’d consider booking cheaper premium class for better seats than those in standard class.

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