Rail police officer shoots himself in foot

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) police only started carrying guns three months ago but already an officer has hurt himself with a firearm.

Rail police officer shoots himself in foot
File image of Swiss rail police working closely with their German and French counterparts.

The SBB said one of its security officers accidentally shot himself in the foot with a handgun early on Wednesday while at the transport police service premises in Bern.

The bullet pierced the man’s left heel, the state-owned rail company said in a news release.

The officer was taken to hospital, where his condition was “good under the circumstances”.

The cause for the misfiring is under investigation, SBB said.

The commander of the railway police department informed local police about the incident, the rail company said.
The SBB transport police have been authorized to carry service weapons since July 1st 2011 after the federal government approved the controversial measure.

But officers have only been using them since July and the shot in the foot marked the first time one had been fired on the job.

The railway said training and testing of its police officers is “identical” to the requirements of cantonal police forces.

After initially being cool to the idea, SBB argued that its officers needed to be armed to deal with ongoing security issues on trains, including the alleged increased willingness of passengers to use violence.

 A spokesman for the rail company said last year that arming train police would have a “preventive effect”.

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Rail services to remain disrupted in Switzerland in the coming days

Snow and sub-zero temperatures over the weekend caused havoc on some train lines, mainly in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Rail services to remain disrupted in Switzerland in the coming days
Snow has slowed down train traffic in Switzerland. Photo by AFP

Freezing temperatures cut off the power on some lines, disrupting train traffic in several regions.

Internationally, traffic between St. Margrethen in St.Gallen and Munich was interrupted due to heavy snowfall. EuroCity trains between Zurich and Munich were canceled.

Before it resumes normal service, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) must clear a thick layer of snow from trains and remove fallen trees from tracks, the company said on its website.

The train between Basel and Zurich airport will be canceled until Tuesday evening. 

But SBB says it will resume most of its traffic on the main lines on Monday, though at reduced frequency.

Shorter train formations and longer journeys should also be expected in the next few days.

READ MORE: Swiss railways releases new time table: Here's what changes in 2021

How can you know ahead of time about any last-minute cancellations or delays?

The timetable is also constantly updated on the SBB Mobile App. 

Any delays or last minute cancellations are indicated there in real time.

On Twitter, @RailService and @railinfo_cff provide information on possible disruptions as well.

READ MORE: MAP: Return of night trains across Europe comes a step closer