Expansion of services in French-speaking and north-eastern Switzerland, and on international routes.
As of the next timetable change on 9 December, SBB will be offering customers more train connections and more seats on national and regional services. The main emphasis is on achieving significant improvements in Western Switzerland with the introduction of the "Horaire Romandie 2013" timetable, half-hourly services between Schaffhausen and Zurich, and the inclusion of new international connections to France and Austria.
The growth in mobility throughout Switzerland is causing more and more bottlenecks, particularly in urban regions. This is forecast to increase by up to 50% between now and 2030, with growth of up to 100% in metropolitan areas. SBB is responding to these trends by expanding its range of services on both regional and national routes.
More trains on the Geneva–Lausanne and Schaffhausen–Zurich lines.
The key improvement in French-speaking Switzerland is the introduction of the "Horaire Romandie 2013" (the new timetable concept for Western Switzerland). The RegioExpress service between Geneva and Lausanne will now run every half-hour, with alternating trains to either Palézieux-Romont or Vevey. When the new timetable comes into effect, there will be a total of 13 new Regio Dosto double-deck trains in operation. This will enable SBB to increase the number of seats available on this very popular route by around a third. In addition, more long-distance trains at peak times between Valais and Geneva will reduce journey times by up to 11 minutes. In French-speaking Switzerland, RER Fribourg I Freiburg will also offer an hourly service between Berne, Romont and Bulle.
In north-eastern Switzerland, SBB is introducing a half-hourly service on the Schaffhausen–Zurich route. The previous hourly InterCity/InterRegio connection will be supplemented with the new half-hourly Regio Dosto RegioExpress service stopping in Oerlikon and Bülach. This significant step has been made possible by the construction of a second track. As of the new timetable, two additional trains will run between Winterthur and Zurich in the peak morning period.
International travel – improved services to Austria and France.
SBB is also successively upgrading its international passenger services. Working closely together with its Austrian partner ÖBB, the Swiss railway is introducing a new, sixth pair of Railjet train services on the Zurich–Austria route. This will also reduce the journey time from Zurich to Vienna by around 20 minutes on all services.
TGV Lyria, a joint subsidiary of the French rail company SNCF and SBB, is expanding its range of passenger services between Switzerland and France. For example, the Paris – Berne TGV will continue to Interlaken Ost every day, and at weekends the service from to Paris will depart from Interlaken Ost at weekends. With this direct connection to the Bernese Oberland, TGV Lyria is offering attractive, comfortable travel for winter sports enthusiasts and other visitors to the area. TGV Lyria is also taking over the existing Geneva–Marseille–Nice and Geneva–Montpellier routes, with three services a day between Switzerland and the South of France.
Timetable optimisations and investments in regional services.
At the regional level, SBB is focusing on upgrading its S-Bahn rapid transit routes. When the new timetable comes into effect, customers will benefit from more services and new rolling stock on a number of lines. A summary of the changes:
- Two additional S12 services will operate between Winterthur and Zurich in the peak morning period.
- On the Baden–Otelfingen line and vice versa, two extra S6 services will be introduced in the evening, providing a half-hourly service up to 10 p.m.
- A new station, Steinhausen Rigiblick, will be brought into operation on the S9 route. Sihlbrugg station on the S21 route, however, will no longer be served.
- An additional train will run between Rotkreuz and Lenzburg daily, departing from Rotkreuz at 23:52.
- An additional train will run from Aarau to Turgi, departing from Aarau at 15:58.
- On the Olten–Solothurn line, new FLIRT trains will also run as far as Langendorf on weekdays too.
- RER Fribourg | Freiburg, a joint venture between SBB and TPF, is now offering an hourly clockface service between Berne and Bulle.
- The ICN departing from Chiasso at 07:45 will now also stop in Mendrisio.
- Passengers from Mendrisio will also benefit from an additional connection to Lugano and Bellinzona during the peak morning period.
The daily connections from Ticino to Milano Centrale will be doubled with the introduction of the new timetable. Five trains a day will now run from Biasca via Bellinzona and Lugano to Milan, and six trains from Milan back to Biasca.
In around a year's time, the St. Gallen S-Bahn will come into operation in eastern Switzerland, and the opening of Zurich’s north-south cross-city link in 2014 will mark the completion of another key stage in the expansion of the city’s S-Bahn network. As of 2015, the Ticino region will benefit from the inauguration of the Ticino/Como – Mendrisio – Varese – Malpensa (Milan international airport) rapid transit system. The 2015 timetable change will also see the completion of the second phase of the Zurich S-Bahn upgrade programme (east-west cross-city link and expansion of Oerlikon station) as well as the opening of the Gotthard base tunnel.