The FR1 Metropolitan Service, also called the FM1, connects Fiumicino Airport with the stations of central, metropolitan Rome and travels as far as Fara Sabina and Orte, which are on the north east side of Rome.
For visitors, this is primary transportation getting to and from the FCO airport. For locals, it’s often a commuter train, to and from work. So early in the morning (07:00-09:00) and later in the day (16:30-18:00), this train can get crowded. The FR1 is a regional or local train so there is no reserved seating, no seat reservation fee, and it’s first-come, first serve on seats!
Because it’s a regional train, you can buy tickets for this run online, but only seven days in advance. Frankly, as the train never sells out, there’s no reason to buy FR1 tickets online. There are ticket counters and/or kiosks available at any of these Rome train stations. You could actually buy your ticket (or return ticket) days in advance at any train station because a Regionale ticket is good for two months – or until you validate it. Yes, because these are open-seat trains, you must validate your tickets in the yellow validation boxes BEFORE you get on the train – otherwise you can face a stiff fine! See the post on Riding Trains in Italy for more info.
How to Get to the FCO Airport from Rome
The FCO Train Station – the Leonardo Express and the FM1
Best Places to MEET someone at the FCO Airport
The Terravision Bus Returns to FCO
The SitBus Shuttle Travel Option to/from FCO
Many times, because the trains are crowded, we’ve literally sat on our luggage near the entry doors. The trains used on the FR1 are primarily the “double-decker” trains. The good news is they are easy to drag luggage onto because they do not have the 3-step-up-entry of the Leonardo Express or the AV trains. The bad news is once you’re on the train you have to go UP or DOWN stairs to get to a seat.
When we’re traveling in Europe and we are only using carry-on luggage this is not a big deal. But when we’re headed to the States and we have our huge 30” suitcases… it’s difficult to drag these up or down stairs, so like many travelers, we just stay on the landing by the entry doors… and try and get out of the way! Often my wife will go sit in a seat, and I’ll sit on the luggage in the entryway! Thankfully, it’s only a 20+ minute ride from many of the Rome train stations.
The FR1 is currently priced at €8. (It used to be a real bargain at €5.50). Children under 12 travel free if accompanied by an adult. The FR1 is the least expensive train option to the FCO airport. While your Roma Pass is good in 2nd class seating on regionale trains within the city of Rome, IT IS NOT VALID on the FR1 all the way to the airport. Yes, if you’re caught you will get fined. No, ignorance is not an acceptable excuse.
The City of Rome has set up both airports to be OUTSIDE the applicable “rings” of service provided by the ATAC tickets and thus, the Roma Pass. Certainly this has proved to be a lucrative and profitable policy. Just pay the €8 – many folks have tried to beat the system by purchasing a ticket from the last station outside the zone and before the airport… I’m not going to encourage you to do that – especially with luggage… and it is frowned upon if you’re caught doing this.
During the bulk of the day, the FR1 Trains run every fifteen minutes on weekdays – and weekdays in Italy includes Saturdays. Early in the morning, and late in the evening, the FR1 train shifts to departing every 30 minutes (see chart below). On Sundays and holidays, the FR1 train runs only every half hour – but that timeframe holds through from the start of service to the end of day.
If you’re headed to the FCO airport early in the morning, the earliest FR1 trains start their FIRST runs departing as follows from the Rome train stations: Roma Tiburtina Station (05:05 AM), Roma Tuscolana (05:12 AM), Roma Ostiense(05:18 AM), and Roma Trastevere (05:21 AM). Thus, the first FR1 train arrives at the FCO Train Station at 05:49 AM. (Note: The metro and day-time bus services start at approximately 05:30 AM, so if you plan on making this first run, they will not help you. You’ll have to find your own method of getting to these stations to make this first FR1 train to the FCO Airport.)
Then you have a five minute walk from the train station to the departure counters at Terminal 3. If you’re going to T1 (Alitalia), T2 (easyjet) or T5 (US-flagged Airlines) you need to allow more “travel” time after you exit the train station. Thus, with a domestic (inside Schengen) connection, you probably could catch a 07:30 flight departure – or later – using the FR1. Anything earlier than 07:30 AM and the FR1 may not be the best transportation option for you.
This chart reflects the DEPARTURE times from these Rome train stations headed to the FCO Airport train Station. It shows the earliest and latest departures and is based on a typical weekday schedule… Note: this is based on the current schedule when this article was written. Please check the Trenitalia schedule for any updates.
As you can see, the first two trains are not 15 minutes apart, but then the run settles into it’s weekday routine (Again, the “Weekday” does include Saturdays in Rome). After 06:48 the train runs from each stop through the day every 15 minutes… and we pick up the schedule in the chart again at 19:18. Late in the evening, it reverts to a 30-minute period between departing trains. The last FR1 train from the Rome stations arrives at 23:19. Then service starts over again the next morning.
If the trains are on time – sometimes a BIG “if” – then there is a pattern you can use. For example, we often jump on the FR1 at Roma Trastevere to head to the FCO airport. If we are headed to the airport between 06:00 and 19:00 on a weekday, then we know the train departs the Roma Trastevere station at 06, 21, 36, and 51 after the hour, and we can plan accordingly.
So the above chart will help you get to the FCO Train Station and FCO airport. Leaving the airport on the FCO is just as easy. the FR1’s generally come in on Tracks 1 and 3 (there are only three tracks) and for the return trip are labeled Fara Sabina or Orte. Either works for you if you’re headed into Rome! (See the route map below). The trains keep the same schedule – in reverse – heading back into town. So again, on weekdays, during the prime part of the day, the trains will be leaving every 15 minutes to head back into town and onto the Fara Sabina or Orte stations.
Once the trains arrive at the FCO train station – as based on the chart above – they sit for for approximately 8-9 minutes, load up, and head back in the direction they came. So, if the train is on-time arriving, and you’re standing on the platform waiting, you’ve got eight minutes to validate your ticket, gather your goods and get on the train! Thus, from the time-table (and the FR1 schedule on the Trenitalia website) you can see that the FR1 trains are SCHEDULED to depart FCO on weekdays at 13, 28, 43, and 58 after the hour, each hour during peak periods.
You can purchase your tickets at the kiosks at the FCO train station, or at the Trenitalia counter. There are now three types of kiosks in the FCO airport train station. They’re fairly easy to use, although one type only accepts credit cards (or Italian debit cards). Your USA or foreign credit card should work in these kiosks. To research the departure times at the Trenitalia website, use Roma Aeroporto and the name of the station you want to head to (The names are in the chart and article above). Sometimes the Trenitalia website gets a little “sensitive” about you spelling in Italian and not English… If you plan to jump onto the metro, bus, or #8 tram, you can also purchase your ATAC metro, bus, or tram tickets at the FCO train station.
Suburban buses available
Other Trenitalia station
Metro Line A connections here
Metro Line A connections here
The above map shows the FR1 route. You can see the FCO airport, on the left – or the west side – of the map. It journeys to and from the airport, heading to either the Fara Sabina station and/or the Orte Station. If you’re boarding the train at FCO heading into town, then you can get on a train with the header Fara Sabina or Orte… For your purposes, they are both headed to – and through – the primary Rome stations. The Legend above shows the bus, metro, and train connections available at each station. Let’s zoom in for a closer look.
Here’s the far west section of the route. The train is starting at the FCO airport. Remember, it’s SUPPOSED to park for 8-9 minutes off-loading and loading, and then it heads EAST or to the right on this chart. The station circled in orange, the first stop AFTER leaving FCO is Parco Leonardo. It, and the FCO stop, are outside the “ring” of free ATAC ticket usage – again, by design! This stop has a Mall, an Auchan grocery store, a cinema, and a HUGE apartment complex. The next stop, circled in yellow, Fiera di Roma is the “RING” stop for ATAC ticket users. From this site into town, your ATAC ticket is good in the 2nd class section of regionale trains. Again, you CANNOT use these tickets to go past the Fiera di Roma stop. As you can see from the map, there is parking at a few stops out near the airport… but not much else is convenient!
In this section of the route map, the train is entering the primary Rome stations. You can see it reaches Roma Trastevere first coming from the airport. Here you can also se that the station “in-town” are heavily connected by train, bus and metro options. The red box covers the primary Rome stations the FR1 visits. If you’re headed into town, like to the Roma Trastevere station, it’s good to know the station-before-your-station. That way you can gather your items and head for the doors. These trains only stop at the stations for 1-2 minutes. You need to be ready to get off when the train stops. Heading into town from FCO, the stop before Roma Trastevere is Villa Bonelli.
At the Roma Trastevere station, you can catch the #8 Tram in Rome into town, or one of many bus options. The Roma Trastevere station is also the connection point for the FR3 and the FR5 lines. The FR3 can get you to Roma San Pietro (and St. Peter’s Square) and then further out, leaving the city and heading to Viterbo. Probably the most used connection at Roma Trastevere is the FR5 train to Civitavecchia. The FR5 regionale trains are the most-used train option from Rome to Civitavecchia.
At Roma Ostiense you have the many options. Here you can ride the bus, jump on the Metro Line B (go to the Colosseo!), or ride the Roma Lido train out to Ostia Antica or the Ostia beaches! This a huge station – third largest in Rome!
The Roma Tubirtina station is the second largest train station in Rome. It’s also a major bus hub and a crossing point for the Metro Line B. Here you can also catch long-distance buses to Siena to Sorrento. Many international trains depart from Roma Tubirtina and it’s the starting point for the F2 Line in Rome.
Pictures of the FR1
The FR1 line uses modern double-deck carriages known as TAFs (or Treni ad Alta Frequentazione, meaning high-traffic trains). Some of the trains are in good shape, but often many are covered in graffiti. Although the trains are called double-deckers, there are often three levels. In the pictures below, you’ll see what I mean:
Entryway of the FR1 – photo from www.europeforvisitors.com
This is the entry area; the doorway. Often, if you’ve got HUGE luggage (like we do when we’re headed to the States), you’ll park your luggage here. Most folks sit on or stand by their larger luggage.
In the background of this picture is the entryway.
You can see that to get to the “lower” level you have to go down two stairs.
To get to the upper level you have to negotiate these steep and narrow stairs. Frankly, the view is not worth the effort – especially if you have ANY luggage you’ll have to drag.
And here’s that third, mid-level seating area. You can see the entryway in the foreground and the four stairs you have to climb to get to a seat.
The lower seating area on the FR1 to the FCO airport. See the landing and entryway in the background. with two stairs up… and then the additional four stairs to the mid-level seating. Note the small storage bins over your head and the narrow aisles.
This is the mid-level seating on the FR1. A good place to head with your luggage if the train is full and there is no room for you in the entryway.
One thing you haven’t seen is luggage racks. Some of the FR1 trains do have racks… but not many. So what do you do with your luggage? Here’s ours, stacked in the seats across from us. Because the aisles are so narrow, it’s hard to NOT have luggage in your lap. Thankfully, the train was pretty empty on this run.
Often graffitti covered cars…. the FR1 is on the left, parked here at the FCO Train Station.
The Leonardo Express is on the right.
Make sure you validate your ticket before jumping on the train.
Look for these yellow machines as you head to the platforms.
The FR1 is one of many transportation options from FCO. It is a convenient way to get to the Trastevere or Ostiense Area – not to mention to make a connection at Tiburtina. Again, it does not stop at Roma termini – you’ll need the Leonardo Express or other options to get there from FCO. See our article on the FCO train station for more helpful hints and pictures. Some FR1 facts:
• Operates to/from FCO Train Station and central Rome
• Runs every 15 minutes during peak hours on weekdays
• Current cost is €8,00
• Does NOT stop at Roma Termini
• As a Regionale train, don’t forget to validate your tickets!
This train is a convenient and inexpensive mode of transportation to Rome.
If you are interested in more travel support, contact me – Ron in Rome – at:
Ron Phillips Travel
An Independent Advisor for Brownell Travel – A Virtuoso® Agency
Phone: (404) 474-3851
FAX: (678) 528-2672
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