14 December 2014
Timetable changes: SBB is expanding its service and adding new trains.
The timetable will change on 14 December. This year, in western Switzerland, the new timetable will introduce a half-hourly service between Fribourg and Romont and between Fribourg and Yverdon-les-Bains. ETR 610 trains will now be operating on the Gotthard route, while the RegioExpress service between Bern and Biel/Bienne will primarily be operated using RegioDosto trains. Supersaver tickets can now be purchased via SBB Mobile.
With the changes to its timetable, SBB is expanding its service, particularly in western Switzerland. The second stage of the RER Fribourg I Freiburg development scheme is complete. From Monday to Friday, trains will run every half hour between Fribourg and Romont (new S40 line) and between Fribourg, Payerne and Yverdon-les-Bains (new S30 line). There will also be new connections from Yverdon-les-Bains to Lausanne. The "Basse-Broye" bus routes are being reorganised and coordinated with the new train connection times. The new Fribourg Poya stop will enter into service. From 27 April 2015, the S1 between Fribourg and Bern will stop at Bern Europaplatz (formerly Bern Ausserholligen SBB).
SBB is optimising the use of its rolling stock to increase punctuality.
Modern RegioDosto trains will now largely be used on the RegioExpress Bern-Biel/Bienne line, while IC 2000 double-decker trains will continue to be used for certain connections. SBB is also optimising the use of its rolling stock on the Zurich S-Bahn network. After the positive experiences brought about through exchanging Zurich S-Bahn rolling stock on the S7 and S14 lines with that of the S5 line, rolling stock will now also be swapped on the S6 and S8 lines. This move will have a positive effect on the reliability of the timetable throughout the entire S-Bahn network. Since 15 June, trains on the Zurich S-Bahn S2, S8 and S14 lines have been running from the new Löwenstrasse underground through-station to Zurich Oerlikon via the Weinberg tunnel. This has resulted in shorter journey times through the city of Zurich. The next big step in the process will take place in Zurich in December 2015, when the second part of the cross-city link will come into operation. The new bridges to Zurich Altstetten and the expansion of Oerlikon train station to create room for two additional tracks will enable new lines to be introduced and more frequent services to be provided as part of the fourth expansion phase of the Zurich S-Bahn lines. This will increase capacity at peak times.
In Ticino, the S40 line will be up and running with the new stop in Stabio. The S40 will provide a direct connection between Albate–Camerlata/Como–Mendrisio–Stabio during peak times. This is the first step towards the completion of the new Ferrovia Mendrisio–Varese line. Once the line opens, trains will run to Varese and continue on to Malpensa airport (Italy).
Travelling south on the new ETR 610.
From 14 December, passengers will be able to travel southwards and back again in increased comfort, as ETR 610 trains will be operating on the Gotthard route. In future, a total of 15 of these trains will run on the Gotthard and the Simplon routes. These trains have comfortable seats, a dining car, power sockets by every seat, a customer information system and plenty of space for luggage. They will gradually replace SBB's ETR 470 trains. During the Milan Expo 2015 world exhibition from 1 May to 31 October, SBB and Trenitalia will lay on many additional trains to Milan. Every day, up to four – and from August up to five – extra trains with around 2,500 additional seats will provide return services to Milan's Rho Fiera exhibition centre station from all over the country, thus enabling people to visit the exhibition as a day trip. In Switzerland, entrance tickets for Milan Expo 2015 can only be purchased from SBB, either from the counter, by telephone or online.
In order to offer an alternative to the congested EuroCity 37 service between Lausanne and Domodossola, an InterRegio service will now run from Geneva airport directly to Domodossola on Saturdays (departing from Lausanne at 7.45 a.m.). Due to construction work in the Canton of Valais, services will be slower on the InterRegio trains. So that SBB can guarantee connections in Visp and Lausanne, one instead of two InterRegio trains and two regional trains will stop at Leuk station per hour in each direction. RegionAlps trains provide connecting services to Visp, where further connections are available to Bern and intermediate stations.
Supersaver tickets now available via SBB Mobile.
SBB is constantly developing its Mobile App and, from mid-November, supersaver tickets can be bought via your mobile. 100,000 tickets for national routes are available every day. Those who book early will benefit the most from discounted offers. For example, supersaver tickets are available for the Zurich main station–Basel SBB route without a Half-Fare travelcard for CHF 16 instead of CHF 32.
Three stations are changing their names.
Besides the aforementioned Bern Ausserholligen SBB station, which is now called Bern Europaplatz, two other stations are also being renamed with the introduction of the timetable changes: by order of the Federal Office of Transport (FOT), Cossonay will now be called Cossonay-Penthalaz and Pfungen-Neftenbach will now be known as Pfungen.
Price increases on public transport.
Together with the timetable changes, the price of tickets on public transport is increasing by an average of 2.3%. The range of Half-Fare travelcards is not affected. The industry and the price regulator agreed to these measures in August. The "evening GA travelcard" pilot project is currently being developed. The evening GA travelcard will be valid in a similar way to a normal GA travelcard for a period of six months from Monday to Sunday and from 7 p.m. until services stop for the night. It will be available from any SBB salespoint for three months during the first half of 2015.