Page last updated 28th May 2017
This page will be used for short news items relevant to Switzerland sent by members.
The newest item will be at the bottom of the page and most items will also be on the Society’s Facebook page.
January 14th 2016:
Michael Donovan has sent us the following two items:
Five short listed for Merseyrail EMU fleet.
Merseytravel announced on January 11 that five bidders had been shortlisted to supply the new Merseyrail EMU fleet. Tender documentation is due to be released on January 22, with bids due back by April 30. According to the OJEU notice published on October 2 2015 (RBI496 p6), Merseytravel expects that around 50 trainsets with a nominal length of 60 m will be needed, although bidders will be asked to propose the configuration and exact number of trainsets. The preferred bidder is expected to be chosen towards the end of 2016, says Merseytravel, when the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority ‘will be asked to commit to the project going ahead’. The new fleet is due to enter service ‘by the early 2020s’. Overall cost is estimated at around £400m, including upgrading the traction power supply and enhancements to depots and stations.
Merseytravel said the project would be financed with ‘a variety of funding mechanisms’, including a reserve which has already been established. There would be no additional costs to local taxpayers, with the investment to be recovered over the operational life of the EMUs by leasing them to the operating concessionaire.
‘All of our five candidates have extensive experience of providing trains, maintenance services and depots’, said Merseytravel Chair Councillor Liam Robinson. ‘As part of the process we’ll be interested in how the bidders may be able to tap into the local labour market and make the most of UK-
SBB/CFF in favour of second Gotthard road tunnel
Basler Zeitung, 03 Jan 2016. The Swiss national rail network provider SBB/CFF has unexpectedly expressed its support for a second road tunnel to be built in Gotthard, Switzerland. It will support the project as long as the current capacity limitations are kept in place on both a national and international level. Swiss citizens will have the opportunity to vote in favour or against the second tunnel on 28 February 2016.
John Law has sent us the following:
RTS.CH has two notes on CFF changes at Lausanne. One is that the old loco depot by the station has finally been cleared for conversion to a fine art museum and the station buffet has just auctioned off all it's fittings and equipment as it is closed during the station renovations. The new buffet retains the murals but will otherwise be entirely upgraded.
Malcolm Bulpitt has just learnt that SBB will be withdrawing all the Minibars from their services by the end 2017. There is much uproar in the Swiss media, but economically they are apparently a basket case even with the high prices they now charge. Even the Swiss are not prepared to pay over the odds when takeaway coffee, etc. is now available on most stations at a much lower unit price.
The final breakthrough of the western bore of Switzerland's 15.4km Ceneri base tunnel was achieved at noon on January 21, with a deviation of only 2cm horizontally and 1cm vertically. http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/europe/final-
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has announced it will invest SFr 37m in its workshops at Olten over the next two years to adapt the facility for the maintenance of SBB's growing fleet of multiple units. http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/europe/sbb-
Swiss PostMail recently unveiled its newly-
The SNCF is cutting several province-
The first of the new Jungfraubahn trainsets are being delivered to Grindelwald from the Stadler works. http://www.jungfrauzeitung.ch/artikel/141815/
10th March :
SBB are to pilot ticketless travel. http://www.thelocal.ch/20160307/swiss-
On Friday, 8 April 2016, at Swiss Federal Railways headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, UNIFE, the European Rail Industry Association, represented by UNIFE Director-
The objective of this MoU is to promote mutually beneficial cooperation between the signatories on quality standards in the rail sector. This cooperation is expected to focus on increasing the exchange of knowledge and experience in a bilateral context on a number of relevant topics such as quality methods, operational and integration maturity levels, and risk transparency, among others specified in the MoU.
Andreas Perren informs us that the transN-
The first BLS Vectron has been completed. It can be seen here:http://www.railcolor.net/index.php?nav=1405330&id=8802&action=dview
From The Railway Gazette:
Appenzeller Bahnen announced a SFr36m order for four Stadler Rail electric multiple-
Meanwhile, a ceremony on April 4 officially launched construction of the St Gallen – Riethüsli diversion including the 705 m Ruckhalde tunnel which will replace a steeply-
Current plans will see Lausanne (not the station area) to Villeneuve switch to ETCS on 23.04.2017 ( SBB Infrastructure -
For Stamp Collectors interested in the Gotthard. https://www.post.ch/en/private/discover-
Thanks to Boyd Misstear for the above items.
Still on the subject of postage stamps -
Some more Swiss postage stamps featuring railway stations have been announced:
2017: Appenzell, Interlaken Ost, Scuol, Zug, Zürich
2018: Alp Grüm, Bern, Fleurier, Huttwil, Zweisimmen
The 1.50 CHF will be the most familiar to members as that is the present cost of a “Priority” stamp to the UK.
In conjunction with the award of the Anglia Franchise to Abellio they have announced massive new rolling stock orders which include dual power Stadler FLIRT units. The order is for 383 Flirt electro-
Ken Lowe has sent us the following information for those interested in Swiss Stellwerks (Signal Boxes). Here are a few changes.
Brig 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 stellwerks all closed on Sunday 25th October 2015 -
Wylersfield (Bern) stellwerk also closed on Sunday 25th October 2015 control being centred on a new electronic box which opened on the same day.
Bern stellwerk closed during Autumn 2015 (no actual date known) & operation migrated to the new Olten Signalling Centre.
Olten stellwerk closed Spring 2015 (no actual date known) & operation migrated to Olten Signalling Centre.
Goppenstein stellwork is due to close on Monday 3rd April 2017& migrate to Spiez Signalling & Control Centre.
Don Newing has informed us of the following collision on Lake Lucerne.
On Friday 19th August at 13.30 there was a collision between two paddle steamers, PS Unterwalden and PS Schiller on Lake Lucerne. Passengers on the Unterwalden were transferred to the MV Gotthard, and the Schiller was able to proceed with its voyage. A formal investigation has been launched by the Swiss safety authorities. Information is from Neue Luzerner Zeitung.
Neil Wheelwright has found the following about the Swiss Post testing robotic delivery:
25th October -
The 2017 Swiss timetable is now available on-
The complete Swiss Kursbuch is available as PDFs in a ZIP file and can now be downloaded without login:
The file is updated daily with recent information.
Don Newing reports that the first of the RhB Albula line driving trailers have been delivered.
The RhB diagrams for December 2016 to March 2017 are now available:
These show that the new fixed rake coaches will be hauled by Allegra units and not conventional locos as had been expected.
Michael Donovan reports that with just weeks to go before the start of full commercial operations, Switzerland’s Federal Transport Office (BAV) has approved the use of Bombardier Traxx locomotives in the Gotthard Base Tunnel following the installation of an ETCS software update. http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/freight/bombardier-
Stadler are to supply the new fleet of trains for Merseyrail. http://www.globalrailnews.com/2016/12/19/merseyrail-
We have learnt that as well as rebuilding Nätschen station the MGB is planning a new covered station at Andermatt, this would involve the demolition of the present workshops. Details are here: http://blog.andermatt-
17th February 2017:
From 13th February the majority of Crossrail trains will be operated by SBB Cargo (International) who will also operate some of the motive power on lease. A sale of the 4 Re 4/4 III to Widmer is still possible if a price can be agreed. Depots in Brig and Muttenz will close and drivers will be hired to SBB-
BLS has agreed to sell a 45% stake in its freight subsidiary BLS Cargo to SNCF Logistics, the French national railway’s freight business. The deal announced on February 16 is subject to regulatory approval. BLS would remain the majority shareholder with a 52% stake, and Ambrogio Group would retain its 3% holding. The corporate structure, Bern headquarters and existing management would remain unchanged, as would arrangements for the use of drivers, locomotives and workshops.
3rd March 2017:
Alan Snowdon has found the following film on Youtube of the BLS Lötschberg route dating from it’s opening in 1913.
9th May 2017:
This could only happen in Switzerland -
12th May 2017:
The Glacier Express is introducing short sections: Travellers can now book parts of the route at a reduced surcharge and spend a wonderful couple of hours enjoying scenic highlights along the way. https://www.glacierexpress.ch/en/offers/short-
The Swiss Post Office has released a 1 CHF stamp to commemorate the centenary of the Brienz Rothorn Bahn.
27th May 2017:
Don Newing reports from Railway Gazzette that the first of the 250 km/h low-
RhB Historic now has a new website, http://www.historic-
Detailed Information about the RhB, rolling stock, paint colours etc can be found at: http://www.rhb-
http://www.sporenplan.nl/ is a Dutch website with track plans of the majority of Swiss stations, locate the page with map of Europe on it and click on Switzerland,
http://www.egtre.info/wiki/Switzerland has information on Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services.
Swiss PostBus have purchased 19 double-
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