Published: 26 Sep 2012 11:30 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 26 Sep 2012 11:30 GMT+02:00
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) is grappling with how to handle longer passenger trains than it has ever operated before.
The 16-car double-decker trains, set to go into operation at the end of 2015, are 400 metres long, requiring special training for drivers and technicians, according to a press report.
SBB has been conducting simulations since the beginning of the month to see how such trains would actually operate.
“We wanted to learn in reality how to overcome problems with these monsters,” SBB spokesman Reto Scharli is quoted as saying by the 20 Minutes online news site.
The Twindexx Swiss Express trains, produced by Bombardier, are capable of carrying 1,400 passengers in their longest versions.
They are part of a 1.9-billion-franc ($2 billion) order announced by the state-owned railway — the biggest in its history — to supply 59 new trains, totalling 436 carriages, with the first ones set for delivery next year.
The Twindexx trains, with a top speed of 230 kilometres per hour, are to be built in Villeneuve in the canton of Vaud and in Görlitz, Germany, while their propulsion and control systems are being produced in Västerås, Sweden.
The trains are touted for passenger comfort, their ability to negotiate curves at high speed and their energy efficiency.
SBB locomotive drivers, such as Roger Walder, expressed concerns about the longer trains because he said it will be necessary to arrive at stations more slowly than before.
“We will lose time,” Walder told 20 Minutes.
A slowdown of this kind is something that “in day-to-day practice we cannot allow," he said, adding that there are visibility issues with the new train.
The Swiss union of locomotive drivers, meanwhile, has raised concerns about the lack of a proper entrance door for the driver’s cabin.
“Drivers will have to thread their way between passenger luggage to go to work,” union president Hubert Giger told 20 Minutes.
China's Premier Li Keqiang has slammed the European Union for plans to probe the country's telecom products and impose taxes on its solar panels, Chinese state media reported on Saturday. READ () »
Tibetan exiles in Bern on Friday urged Swiss authorities to take China to task for its human rights record during a landmark visit by Premier Li Keqiang focused squarely on a trade deal. READ () »
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday hailed a free trade deal with Switzerland as a landmark achievement, saying it had "huge meaning" for global trade and underscored Beijing's growing openness to the world. READ () »
Steffan Millius grips his sword and makes his way through the throngs of people crowding into Appenzell's central square to take part in Switzerland's famous direct democracy in perhaps its purest form. READ () »
A University of Neuchâtel professor under fire for alleged plagiarism is now facing accusations of falsifying his CV. READ () »
The sailboat of Swiss explorer and adventurer Mike Horn was ordered seized by a Marseille court in a southern French port over a dispute involving a naval architect, according to a media report. READ () »
Geneva cantonal police raided eight erotic massage parlours on Tuesday for an investigation into tax fraud allegedly amounting to several million francs. READ () »
A diamond necklace from Geneva jeweller De Grisogono worth 2.5 million francs was reported stolen from Cannes on Thursday, just days after thieves made off with 1.4 million francs' worth of bling from Chopard, another jeweller from the Swiss city. READ () »
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sees a looming free-trade deal with Switzerland as a touchstone for Beijing's growing ties with foreign nations, he told a Swiss newspaper on Thursday ahead of a landmark visit to Europe. READ () »
Whether you have ever or never visited the Netherlands, the country that crowned a new monarch this year is also celebrating a wealth of special jubilees in its popular capital. Here’s the lowdown on why Amsterdam is the place to be in 2013. READ () »