Stradivarius violin handed in at Swiss station

A Stradivarius violin – possibly worth several million euros – was handed in at a Swiss lost-property office after a hapless musician left it on a train, police said Monday.

The owner had lent the precious instrument to a musician friend who took it on a train on Friday but forgot it when he got off at Bern, police said.

After a fruitless search by train staff, surveillance cameras spotted a passenger walking off with the violin at a different station and police launched an appeal for help.

The violin turned up on Sunday in the lost-property office at Bern station.    

Police did not disclose the names of anyone involved, nor the value of the instrument.

Around 600 violins made by Italian master craftsman Antonio Stradivari are still in existence. One fetched about €11 million ($13.5 million) in a 2011 charity auction for victims of the Japanese tsunami.

In 2008, a US violinist left a $4-million (€3.2-million) Stradivarius in the back of a New York cab. The cabbie returned the violin to its owner.

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Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

Switzerland’s Federal Railways (SBB) will be removing the ticket counter from nine stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Bern, Zug and Ticino

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

The SBB made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the decision was made due to a lack of demand. 

Instead, commuters will need to buy tickets from automated machines. 

In the canton of Zurich, the ticket stations in Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur will be closed. 

In neighbouring Zug, Cham’s ticket counter will be closed, while the Herzogenbuchsee station in Bern will also go fully automated. 

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In Latin Switzerland, Pully in Vaud and Biasca in Ticino will see their ticket counters closed. 

The SBB told Swiss news outlet Watson that approximately 95 percent of ticket sales are now made via self-service machines or online. 

The advent of navigation apps has meant the need for personal advice on directions and travel has fallen, particularly in smaller areas or stations with lower traffic.