A planned expansion of Switzerland's rail network could shorten travel time between Zurich and Bern to 45 minutes, a report said.

 

"/> A planned expansion of Switzerland's rail network could shorten travel time between Zurich and Bern to 45 minutes, a report said.

 

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SBB seeks to slash Zurich-Bern travel time

SBB seeks to slash Zurich-Bern travel time
SBB

A planned expansion of Switzerland's rail network could shorten travel time between Zurich and Bern to 45 minutes, a report said.

 


Switzerland’s main financial hub and the country’s capital are currently connected by regular, and generally overcrowded, trains that cover the distance in an hour.

The SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) is studying alternate routes that would allow a reduction by 15 minutes, said a report on the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.  

The plan includes the construction of a tunnel at Aargau, a development that would enable a doubling of rail traffic through the notorious bottleneck, while also benefitting freight traffic, the paper said.

The Federal Council has earmarked 3.5 billion francs ($4.2 billion) for rail network expansion by 2025, while the SBB is asking for 5.7 billion francs ($6.8 billion), the paper said.

 


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Gossip and surgery ? the life of ?lonely? Queen Silvia

Sweden’s royals are about as open as royals get, but the press is always hungry for secret information. This week it was Silvia’s turn in the spotlight, and while she spoke of her work for children’s charities, the press was painting a picture of a conservative queen, known to her friends as the ‘Iron Lady’,

In an interview shown on cable channel TV8 on Tuesday, Silvia said that being queen can lead to ‘feelings of loneliness,” and complained that she hardly ever got any time off, “even though I try to keep Mondays free.”

Silvia was doing the interview to promote her charity, the World Childhood Foundation, and said that she was proud of the role she had played to put the issue of child sex abuse on to the agenda, reported DN.

The queen, who has German-Brazilian origins, also said she was surprised by some of the stories about the royal family that had come up in the German tabloids. She said that they had taken action against the papers “to defend our children.”

Still, gossip about the royals is good business, in Sweden as well as in Germany. And according to a profile by Aftonbladet this week, even the queen herself is an avid reader of the Swedish gossip magazines.

“One of the high-points of the week is when Svenska Damtidning comes through the letterbox,” reported Aftonbladet. According to the paper, Silvia then rifles through the magazine, reading every line about herself, her family and her friends.

“Occasionally,” said the paper, “she rings Princess Madeleine and asks whether the things that are written in the papers are true.”

Aftonbladet painted a picture of a queen who is very aware of her position. She “refers to herself as ‘the queen’, and expects others to do likewise”, the paper revealed, adding that in certain noble families Silvia is unkindly referred to as ‘the Iron Lady’ and ‘the German’, referring to the queen’s Teutonic origins.

Such epithets point to a pretty conservative mindset, something that Aftonbladet confirms. Silvia is reportedly opposed to divorce and “worships the nuclear family” – an attitude that led to her boycotting the weddings of two of the king’s friends when they married much younger women.

Yet her disapproval of the young women in her husband’s social circle doesn’t mean that the queen has given up trying to look younger herself. Aftonbladet says that Silvia has had plastic surgery round her eyes and mouth, and speculates that she uses botox, “a kind of nerve poison that smoothens out wrinkles on the forehead.” According to the paper, the queen visits her plastic surgeon in Brazil during her annual visits to her homeland.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Aftonbladet