Timetable change on 11 December 2016: Half an hour faster to the south.
This year’s timetable change on 11 December will be heavily influenced by theopening of the new Gotthard Tunnel, which will reduce the duration of journeyson the north–south axis. A new touristic service will go into operation on themountain route. In general, there will be minor changes and improvements inthe individual regions. SBB Cargo will be modernising its production and rangeof services concept for freight.
At the end of 2016, travel times from north to south will become shorter – initially byaround 30 minutes – thanks to the new Gotthard Base Tunnel. Further travel-timereductions will be achieved after the Ceneri Base Tunnel goes into operation. Thistunnel is scheduled to open at the end of 2020, when customers travelling betweenGerman-speaking Switzerland and Italy will benefit from the full reduction in traveltime of approximately 60 minutes. Passengers travelling to southern Ticino will get totheir destinations around 45 minutes faster than today. From the end of 2020, trainsbetween German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino will operate every half hour insteadof every hour, while trains between Zurich and Milan will run every hour ratherthan every two hours.
New touristic service on the mountain route.
Along with the new route through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, SBB will also continueto operate the previous mountain route, helping to increase and develop tourism inthe St. Gotthard region. Plans here call for trains to run hourly on the route, which willalso offer connections to long-distance services in Erstfeld, Bellinzona and Lugano.InterRegio trains coming from Basel and Zurich will run until Erstfeld in the future.There will also be new direct connections from the Gotthard region and the Leventinadistrict to Lugano, Mendrisio and Chiasso. On weekends when tourist numbers arehigh, certain InterRegio trains will offer an extended service to Göschenen and thusconnections to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn running towards Andermatt. BetweenApril and October, an InterRegio train will operate between Zurich and Bellinzona onthe mountain route on weekends and public holidays. This direct connection will offerextremely attractive travel times for cyclists and hikers. A further special service willbe the Gotthard Panorama Express, which will offer passengers interesting presentationson local attractions, regional history and the Gotthard legend from spring to autumn. (For further information, visit: www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/holidays--shortbreaks-in-switzerland/scenic-trains/gotthard-panorama-express.html)
SBB Cargo to modernise its range of services.
The opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel will not only improve passenger services, itwill also result in more train paths for freight services. A total of 160 freight trains cancurrently travel on the Gotthard north–south axis every day, but this number will increaseto 210 on 11 December 2016.
SBB Cargo is also working with customers to modernise its production and range ofservices concept for wagonload freight operations. The company accounts for 25percent of all road/rail transport volume in Switzerland, which means it plays a veryimportant role in the logistics supply chains of Swiss firms. Wagonload freight is andwill remain a strategic core business area, one that will be strengthened for the longterm by two components. First of all, three new processing phases at the marshallingyards will allow today’s capacities to be distributed over 24 hours instead of beingconcentrated in just a few peak periods. This will also enable better use of the railinfrastructure. Secondly, SBB Cargo will launch a booking system for customerswhen the timetable change comes into effect, allowing them to reserve specific collectionand delivery times and receive binding confirmation.
- InterRegio trains on the Lausanne–Sion–Brig line will stop more frequently inBex and Leuk.
- The service on the Biel/Bienne–Delémont–Basel SBB line leaving Basel SBBat 6:03 will now consist of two InterCity tilting trains, which means passengerswill have twice as many seats as before.
- The InterRegio departing Bern at 4:21 will now stop in Zurich main station aswell, rather than just at Zurich Airport. This means that a new early connectionto Zurich main station will be available from Bern, Olten and Aarau.
- Introduction of an hourly service for the S25 Muri–Brugg line; timetable adjustmentsfor the S23 Lenzburg–Brugg line.
- The S20 will be extended from Castione to Biasca, and to Airolo during peakhours.
- New hourly RegioExpress from Erstfeld to Bellinzona; some trains will travelon further to Lugano and Milano Centrale.
- Expansion of service with three additional trains in the evening on the S99 Lucerne–Hochdorf line.
- Champ-du-Moulin station on the Neuchâtel–Buttes line will now be servedhalf-hourly during the week.
Additional adjustments and changes may still be made; discussions with orderers arecurrently underway.
Still a large number of building sites
SBB maintains its rail network throughout Switzerland on an ongoing basis and anticipatespotential problems. Where necessary, SBB also takes measures to expandthe network. Such activities affect passengers. The following building sites are of particularimportance:
- Léman 2030.
Extensive engineering work continues between Renens VD and Lausanne aspart of the Léman 2030 project. (www.sbb.ch/en/leman2030)
- Winterthur hub.
SBB is implementing various building projects as part of the Winterthur stationcapacity increase. From the end of 2018, customers will benefit from a greaternumber of connections and longer trains. (www.sbb.ch/zuerich-winterthur)
- Bern/Aarau/Basel triangle.
Building work for the FBS Future Bern Station project will begin in early 2017and last until 2025. (www.sbb.ch/en/group/the-company/projects/upgrading-the-rail-network/projects-in-the-mittelland-region-and-the-ticino/fbs.html). With the expansion to four tracks on the Olten–Aarau line (Eppenberg Tunnel), theSwiss Confederation and SBB are eliminating one of the biggest bottlenecksin the Mittelland region. The project encompasses the new three-kilometreEppenberg Tunnel and extensive measures for the connection to the tunnelbetween Olten and Aarau. (www.sbb.ch/eppenberg).
- North–south, in particular Ticino.
In order for customers to benefit fully from the Gotthard axis, SBB is improvingthe access routes to the base tunnels and, by 2020, will complete a continuousfour-metre corridor from Basel to the Italian border. This will requirearound 20 tunnels to be upgraded and 80 modifications to be made to platforms,rail power and signalling installations and overpasses between now and2020. (www.sbb.ch/en/group/the-company/projects/upgrading-the-railnetwork/projects-in-the-mittelland-region-and-the-ticino/4-metre-corridor.html)
2017 timetable available at fahrplanentwurf.ch
The website www.fahrplanentwurf.ch went live today. Any discrepancies found in thetimetable drafts must be reported by 19 June 2016. The timetable procedure involvesironing out any discrepancies in the schedule. Concerns about the concept itselfhave already been dealt with at the planning stage for the services. You can sendcomments directly to the office responsible for public transport in your canton usingthe online form provided. The office will examine the details and take them into accountif necessary, or else retain them as a basis for the planning procedure for thenext timetable year.