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 the opening of the new Gotthard Tunnel, which will reduce the duration of journeys on the north–south axis. A new touristic service will go into operation on the mountain route. In general, there will be minor changes and improvements inthe individual regions. SBB Cargo will be modernising its production and range of services concept for freight.
At the end of 2016, travel times from north to south will become shorter – initially by around 30 minutes – thanks to the new Gotthard Base Tunnel. Further travel time reductions will be achieved after the Ceneri Base Tunnel goes into operation. This tunnel is scheduled to open at the end of 2020, when customers travelling between German-speaking Switzerland and Italy will benefit from the full reduction in travel time of approximately 60 minutes. Passengers travelling to southern Ticino will get to their destinations around 45 minutes faster than today. From the end of 2020, trains between German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino will operate every half hour instead of every hour, while trains between Zurich and Milan will run every hour rather than every two hours.
New touristic service on the mountain route.
Along with the new route through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, SBB will also continue to operate the previous mountain route, helping to increase and develop tourism in the St. Gotthard region. Plans here call for trains to run hourly on the route, which will also 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 Leventina district to Lugano, Mendrisio and Chiasso. On weekends when tourist numbers are high, certain InterRegio trains will offer an extended service to Göschenen and thus connections to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn running towards Andermatt. Between April and October, an InterRegio train will operate between Zurich and Bellinzona on the mountain route on weekends and public holidays. This direct connection will offer extremely attractive travel times for cyclists and hikers. A further special service will be the Gotthard Panorama Express, which will offer passengers interesting presentations on 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, it will also result in more train paths for freight services. A total of 160 freight trains can currently travel on the Gotthard north–south axis every day, but this number will increase to 210 on 11 December 2016.
SBB Cargo is also working with customers to modernise its production and range of services concept for wagonload freight operations. The company accounts for 25 percent of all road/rail transport volume in Switzerland, which means it plays a very important role in the logistics supply chains of Swiss firms. Wagonload freight is and will remain a strategic core business area, one that will be strengthened for the long term by two components. First of all, three new processing phases at the marshalling yards will allow today’s capacities to be distributed over 24 hours instead of being concentrated in just a few peak periods. This will also enable better use of the rail infrastructure. Secondly, SBB Cargo will launch a booking system for customers when the timetable change comes into effect, allowing them to reserve specific collection and delivery times and receive binding confirmation.
- InterRegio trains on the Lausanne–Sion–Brig line will stop more frequently in Bex and Leuk.
- The service on the Biel/Bienne–Delémont–Basel SBB line leaving Basel SBB at 6:03 will now consist of two InterCity tilting trains, which means passengers will have twice as many seats as before.
- The InterRegio departing Bern at 4:21 will now stop in Zurich main station as well, rather than just at Zurich Airport. This means that a new early connection to Zurich main station will be available from Bern, Olten and Aarau.
- Introduction of an hourly service for the S25 Muri–Brugg line; timetable adjustments for the S23 Lenzburg–Brugg line.
- The S20 will be extended from Castione to Biasca, and to Airolo during peak hours.
- New hourly RegioExpress from Erstfeld to Bellinzona; some trains will travel on 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 served half-hourly during the week.
Additional adjustments and changes may still be made; discussions with orderers are currently underway.
Still a large number of building sites
SBB maintains its rail network throughout Switzerland on an ongoing basis and anticipates potential problems. Where necessary, SBB also takes measures to expand the network. Such activities affect passengers. The following building sites are of particular importance:
- Léman 2030.
Extensive engineering work continues between Renens VD and Lausanne as part of the Léman 2030 project. (www.sbb.ch/en/leman2030)
- Winterthur hub.
SBB is implementing various building projects as part of the Winterthur station capacity increase. From the end of 2018, customers will benefit from a greater number 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 2017 and 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), the Swiss Confederation and SBB are eliminating one of the biggest bottlenecks in the Mittelland region. The project encompasses the new three-kilometre Eppenberg Tunnel and extensive measures for the connection to the tunnel between 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 improving the access routes to the base tunnels and, by 2020, will complete a continuous four-metre corridor from Basel to the Italian border. This will require around 20 tunnels to be upgraded and 80 modifications to be made to platforms, rail power and signalling installations and overpasses between now and 2020. (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 the timetable drafts must be reported by
19 June 2016. The timetable procedure involves ironing out any discrepancies in the schedule. Concerns about the concept itself have already been dealt with at the planning stage for the services. You can send comments directly to the office responsible for public transport in your canton using the online form provided. The office will examine the details and take them into account if necessary, or else retain them as a basis for the planning procedure for the next timetable year.