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.
15 June 2014
Timetable change on 15 June 2014: SBB and ZVV are extending the S-Bahn service with the opening of the new Zurich cross-city link.
SBB and the Zurich Transport Network (ZVV) will be opening the first section of the Zurich cross-city link on 15 June 2014. From then onwards, trains on the S2, S8 and S14 lines will run from the new Löwenstrasse underground through-station to Oerlikon via the Weinberg tunnel. As well as reducing the journey time on these lines, this will involve changes to departure times. In addition, SBB is optimising the way rolling stock is deployed on the Zurich S-Bahn network to make the timetable even more reliable. Long-distance services will also benefit from the timetable change as it will allow more trains to run from Zurich main station out to Grisons and towards Ticino and Milan, with more reliable departure and arrival times.
In just under a month’s time, SBB and the Zurich Transport Network (ZVV) will open the first section of the Zurich cross-city link, including Löwenstrasse station and the Weinberg tunnel. The official opening will be celebrated with various events for local residents and the general public. Following the introduction of an updated timetable on the morning of Sunday, 15 June 2014, the S-Bahn lines S2, S8 and S14 will run via Löwenstrasse station (platforms 31 to 34), no longer stopping at Zürich Wipkingen. Since the trains on these lines will no longer have to turn round at Zurich main station, their journey times will be shorter, which is why the departure and changeover times are being altered. The travel time on the S8 line between Zurich main station and Winterthur, for example, will be reduced by four minutes. With an overall journey time of 24 minutes, this connection will therefore now provide a faster service between Zurich and Winterthur than the long-distance trains.
On the western side of Lake Zurich, the new timetable will offer connections every 15 minutes between Zurich and Wädenswil, for example, as well as a faster half-hourly service on the Zurich–Pfäffikon SZ–Ziegelbrücke route. This is partly due to the GlarnerSprinter, which, under the new timetable, will operate an hourly service between Zurich and Linthal as line S25, with a stop in Wädenswil.
Trains on the S2 line will now run as far as Unterterzen on weekends all year round, but will no longer stop at Bilten, Reichenburg and Schübelbach-Buttikon except during off-peak times. These stops will now be served by the S27 line instead, which operates between Ziegelbrücke and Siebnen-Wangen. The S2 service will also be replaced by S16 on the section between Zurich Airport and Effretikon.
Furthermore, line S21 is being replaced by S24, which runs a half-hourly service from Zug and Baar to Zürich Oerlikon and will now serve Zürich Wipkingen, too.
Extended bus service on the western shore of Lake Zurich.
The extended services brought about by the opening of the Zurich cross-city link are not just restricted to the S-Bahn network, however. To ensure that ZVV can continue providing non-stop, streamlined transport lines, the bus service on the western shore of Lake Zurich is also being coordinated with the new S-Bahn timetable. This means that the departure times for most bus lines in the Zimmerberg region will change as of 15 June 2014. At the same time, the bus service is being extended and consolidated, with additional connections in the evenings and on Sundays in particular. Passengers will therefore benefit from even more direct links to the S-Bahn services in their region. New, larger articulated buses have also been brought in to help cope with rising passenger numbers.
State-of-the-art rolling stock for the S5 line.
By optimising the deployment of rolling stock, SBB is taking a significant step towards improving punctuality on the Zurich S-Bahn network. In future, rolling stock with large, ground-level entrance areas, which allow fast acceleration and passengers to board and alight quickly to help make up time in the event of any delays, will be used consistently on the lines with the largest passenger volumes, for example. Modern, second-generation double-deck multiple-unit trains (DTZ) with low floors will therefore run on the S5 line from 15 June 2014 onwards. Meanwhile, first-generation double-deck push-pull trains (DPZ), which have been substantially renovated with a low-floor coach added, will operate on the S7 and S14 lines in future.
Second-generation DTZ trains will also be used on line S6, which is swapping rolling stock with line S8, as of the timetable change in December 2014. This move will benefit the entire Zurich S-Bahn network.
Long-distance services also to be extended.
Long-distance connections are also set to benefit from the timetable change in June: SBB is extending its services between Zurich and Chur, for example, while the InterCity trains which depart on the hour from Zurich and on the half-hour from Chur will now operate continuously at two-hour intervals instead of being restricted to peak times only. This will offer passengers another InterCity connection every two hours in addition to the hourly InterCity or EuroCity services.
The new timetable to be introduced in June 2014 allows for longer journey times and longer changeover times in Milan and Zurich, which will make the EuroCity connections on the Zurich–Milan line more punctual. Trains to Milan will leave Zurich main station 30 minutes later, approximately on the half-hour (xx.32 instead of xx.09), and will now arrive in Milan at 35 minutes past the hour (instead of 50 minutes past the hour). This gives passengers an extra 15 minutes to change over to the Italian high-speed rail network. The EuroCity trains from Milan to Zurich will run 90 minutes later, with the first train leaving Milan at 08.25 (instead of 07.10) and the last train departing at 20.25 (instead of 19.10). The new departure times for the EuroCity connections also mean that a half-hourly service will run between Zurich and Lugano every two hours.
More information about the cross-city link project and the opening ceremony can be found at: www.durchmesserlinie.ch