So we've opted to rely less on the book and the departures sheets in the stations and ask at the ticket office each time. If we hadn't been able to catch our 1225 train to Geneva we wouldn't have arrived until after 9pm!
This second train took us on a beautiful scenic route where we skirted round lake Geneva and dipped under huge mountains. It was beautiful and made the long journey worth while
We have been using a book published by Thomas Cook that lists rail timetables in Europe, in all the countries and internationally. Normally it has been great (the bus to Venice situation was an error on my part - it clearly had a bus logo!) Today we boarded the 0825 train to Milan expecting to be able to find a seat that was not reserved. When the guard came along he said we needed a reservation. A lady sat near us spoke good English so helped us explain as he did not. Anyway, it turns out that train you had to reserve just to be on it, let alone if you want a specific seat. We could either get off at the next station and pay €10 and get the train in half an hour or pay €18 there and then. We opted to pay then as we knew we would have to reserve tickets on our train to Geneva and wanted the extra time in Milan to do so.