Trains to and from Bologna Airport (BLQ)
Bologna Airport is located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and is considered to be an important gateway to this area, with over five and a half million passengers in 2010. The airport is only 6 km northwest of Bologna city centre, and also nearby the areas of Bargellino, Borgo Panigale, Lame, Lippo and Saffi. Milan and Florence, which are two very popular cities in Italy, are also only a few hundred kilometres away. The airport is well connected to many areas by bus and railway transport, however, there is no train station on the airport site.
Bologna is a international destination, and is handling a steadily increasing number of passengers each year. Its air terminal is well equipped for the arrival and departure of passengers with numerous facilities and transport options. The ground floor of the terminal is mainly for arrivals, although there are also two check-in areas on this level, while the first floor is dedicated to departures and the boarding area. Restaurants and other catering services are found on the top floor of the building. Although there is no actual train station at Bologna Airport, arriving passengers can easily reach the Bologna Central Railway Station by bus.
The Aerobus is the local bus service operated by ATC that provides regular services from the airport to the railway station in Bologna. These buses are available all day, from early morning to late at night. The first bus departs at around 06:00, and the last at 23:45, and they are available approximately every fifteen minutes. The journey to the train station is around twenty minutes, since the airport is only 6 km away from Bologna. This time does depend on traffic conditions though. Travelling by the Aerobus to Bologna Central Train Station is by far the cheapest form of transport available; however, taxis are also available from the airport if you prefer a more private journey.
The Bologna Central Railway Station is situated at Piazza delle Medaglie d’Oro, in Bologna city, and offers excellent railway connections to major destinations across Italy and Europe. The railway services in Italy are owned and operated by the Ferrovie dello Stato, and Trenitalia runs the trains, although there are some lines run by other companies in certain Italian cities. Bologna Central Station, or Bologna Centrale, is on the southern end of the Milan-Bologna line (high speed line) and at the northern end of the Bologna-Florence Direttissima line. The first of these two lines is much newer, having opened in 2008, while the second dates back to 1934.
There are ten train lines at the station and twenty platforms. Other lines include those between Milan and Bologna (traditional line), Verona and Bologna, Padua and Bologna, Bologna and Ancona, Bologna and Vignola, Bologna and Portomaggiore and Bologna and Pistoia.
The history of Bologna Central Station dates back to the mid 1800’s, when the first station was constructed in 1859. Twelve years later a newer and larger station was built. The current station was designed by the architect Gaetano Ratti, and was inspired by various aspects. Bologna station is the fifth largest in terms of passengers in Italy, handling around 58,000,000 people per year. The station is also one of the largest in terms of train movements, and actually handles the same number of trains as the Rome Termini Station. Around 800 trains a day travel through these two stations. Future plans for the station include a new three-level railway station to be built under the current station, dedicated to high-speed trans. There will be an underground parking area and a shopping arcade to go along with the four high-speed train platforms. The new additions should be completed in 2014.
Bologna Train Station at the moment has various facilities, including a car parking area, Internet connections and a few retail outlets and eateries. The bus station is also nearby. Train tickets to all destinations can be purchased from the ticket office, or from the automated ticket machines on the platforms. Reserved tickets can sometimes also be collected from these machines. All train tickets must be validated (stamped) in the validating machines before boarding the trains. Passengers caught with invalid tickets can be issued with heavy fines. Simply ask any of the local passengers at the train station should you be unfamiliar with how the machines work.
Plenty of information regarding onward train travel from Bologna is available from the Tourist Information and Welcome Service desk at the airport, found in the arrivals area. There are also information points dedicated to fairs and conferences held in Bologna.