• Switzerland's news in English
 

Rail operator seeks to axe Bern-Paris TGV

Published: 13 Dec 2012 10:42 GMT+01:00

Alain Barbey, Lyria’s general manager, says the TGV route is running a deficit of 2.3 million a year and no signs of improvement appear in sight.

The line runs between Bern and Paris via Neuchâtel with stops in the French towns of Pontarlier, Frasne and Dijon, an itinerary that takes more than six and a half hours.

“There is only one train a day and the route is long and winding,” Barbey told Tamedia’s French-language newspapers, explaining that the service no longer meets the needs of passengers.

“And we see no possible evolution.”

One of the problems dogging the service is that since the introduction of new links between Bern and Basel, a third of passengers travelling from the Swiss capital to Paris have elected to go via Basel.

Lyria is jointly run by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and SNCF, the French rail carrier.

But both state-run railways are under pressure to cut costs.

Politicians from Neuchâtel and the French communities of Pontarlier and Frasne are alarmed at the prospect of losing the TGV service.

They met with Barbey and representatives of SBB and SNCF earlier this month  to insist on the need to maintain the link.

“Not everything is being done to promote the Bern-Neuchâtel-Paris line,” Marie-Guite Dufay, chair of the Franche-Comté region is quoted as telling the Tamedia newspapers.

Dufay is also worried that the TGV line linking Lausanne and Paris may also be at risk after SNCF announced possible changes starting in 2015.

She has sought guarantees that the line will continue to serve Frasne in France.

Barbey said Lyria was happy with the performance of the Lausanne-Paris “and there is no risk that it will disappear in the short- to medium-term.”

 He said the only concern lies with planned construction work at the Lausanne train station which will result in two fewer platforms being available starting in 2015.

Barbey added, however, that the rail operator could not guarantee long-term routes because “things can evolve rapidly in the rail sector”.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Car rolls into ditch as driver snaps scenic pics
Photo: Saint Gallen cantonal police

Car rolls into ditch as driver snaps scenic pics

In a bizarre accident at the weekend, a 35-year-old motorist who stepped out of his estate car to photograph mountain scenery around Trübsbach in the canton of Saint Gallen ended finding the vehicle in a drainage channel. READ  

Migros faces sales drop at border stores: CEO
Photo: Philip Newton

Migros faces sales drop at border stores: CEO

The boss of Migros, Switzerland’s top retailer, says its stores near the European border will have to cut operating costs because of an expected drop in sales of five percent or more due to the strong Swiss franc. READ  

Avalanche death toll in Swiss Alps rises to 11
Helicopters responding to avalanche scene at Piz Vilán. Photo: Graubünden cantonal police

Avalanche death toll in Swiss Alps rises to 11

Another person has died after being overcome by an avalanche in the Swiss Alps while skiing off-piste, police said on Sunday, bringing the death toll in such accidents to 11 in the past four days. READ  

Pilot dies after small plane crashes in Geneva
Emergency services workers responded to the crash scene. Photo: RTS

Pilot dies after small plane crashes in Geneva

A 59-year-old man flying a small Piper aircraft died after the plane crashed on Friday in a field in Bernex, a municipality in the canton of Geneva, according to media reports. READ  

Tennis: Australian Open
Wawrinka runs out of steam against Djokovic
Wawrinka: "No battery." Photo: AFP

Wawrinka runs out of steam against Djokovic

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka put up a fight against Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals on Friday but finally ran out of steam against the Serb who won in five sets. READ  

French teen dies in avalanche near Verbier
Photo: Valais cantonal police

French teen dies in avalanche near Verbier

UPDATE: A 17-year-old French girl died following an avalanche that on Thursday swept five backcountry skiers down a mountainside in the Vallon d’Arby area near Verbier in the canton of Valais, police said on Friday. READ  

Conductor dies during symphony in Lucerne
Israeli conductor Israel Yinon. Photo: Autonomous University of Zacatecas/YouTube

Conductor dies during symphony in Lucerne

Internationally known conductor Israel Yinon died in the middle of a symphony concert while directing an orchestra at the Lucerne Culture and Convention Centre (KKL) on Thursday night, concert organizers said. READ  

Ammann back training after Austrian mishap
Photo: Slawek/Wikimedia Commons

Ammann back training after Austrian mishap

Switzerland's four-time Olympic ski jumping champion Simon Ammann returned to training on Thursday, just two weeks after suffering a serious head injury in a fall in Austria. READ  

Top court upholds death sentence — for a dog
A Hovawart dog (not the one involved in the court case). Photo: Faigl.ladislav/Wikimedia Commons

Top court upholds death sentence — for a dog

Switzerland’s highest court has upheld a death sentence, although it doesn’t apply to a human. READ  

Swiss expat population continues to expand
Image: FDFA

Swiss expat population continues to expand

The number of Swiss citizens livening outside Switzerland rose two percent in 2014 from the previous year to almost three-quarters of a million, government figures released on Thursday show. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Sponsored Article
Avoid the costs of wild Swiss currency swings
Features
Anglophone expats in Switzerland mine creativity to earn crust
National
Number of 'immigrants' swells to third of Swiss population: report
International
Pricey Switzerland tops latest global cost of living study
National
Swiss travel agents and retailers cut prices after franc surge
Technology
Solar Impulse team unveils round-the-world route for sun-powered plane
Business & Money
Swiss central bank's shock move to let franc rise sparks debate
National
Markets panic as Swiss National Bank scraps euro rate cap
National
VIDEO: Swiss soldiers publish pictures of antics on internet
National
A portrait of modern Switzerland in ten stats
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Features
Geneva-based expat pens seismic novel about Haitian homeland
Features
Tons of explosives finally removed from hundreds of Swiss sites
International
'Don't succumb to fear': Swiss President Sommaruga on terrorism
Sport
Federer claims historic 1,000th win at Brisbane tennis tournament
National
Swiss newspapers condemn deadly Charlie Hebdo terror attack
Business & Money
Hackers steal client information from Geneva cantonal bank
National
Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris sparks Swiss rallies
National
Pop star Madonna leaves her mark during Swiss mountain holiday
National
Disassembled Solar Impulse heads to Emirates in jumbo jet
National
US ambassador in Bern sparks flap over Swiss ski lift line 'chaos'
National
New President Sommaruga lauds 'bold' Swiss democracy
National
Hopes fade of finding missing Scottish researcher still alive
National
Scientists in Lausanne and Belgium step up search for alien life
National
Nude 'selfie' mayor heads Switzerland's top ten scandal list
Features
The Local's top ten snow sport alternatives to skiing in Switzerland
Culture
Suspected stabber Nabilla given conditional release from detention
International
Swiss hotel school grad 'hero' among Australian café siege victims
Business & Money
Switzerland cracks top ten list of best countries for business
Business & Money
Swiss National Bank imposes negative interest rates
Politics
Federal cabinet ministers rapped for accepting new limouisines
International
Swiss chocolate café at centre of hostage-taking drama Down Under
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Features
Exploring the 'most beautiful village' in French-speaking Switzerland
Business & Money
Italian thieves steal 260 tons of Swiss Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate
National
World's longest train tunnel — under the Swiss Alps — set to open in 2016
National
Porn film on video screen spices up fare at Swiss McDonald's restaurant
National
Masturbation scene in Swiss TV ad for Media Markt draws complaints
National
Cantonal lawmakers end 'happy hours' tippling in Vaud pubs and bars
Politics
Former concert pianist Sommaruga elected as next Swiss president
Culture
Jailed German art forger's paintings go on sale at Bern gallery
Business & Money
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's family listed as Switzerland's richest
Features
Long-time expats face dilemma: to be or not to be a Swiss citizen
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,388
jobs available