Switzerland has the best railways in Europe: survey

Swiss Federal Railways, SBB, has come out top in a survey of European rail operators, beating off strong competition from Germany’s Deutsche Bahn and Austria’s ÖBB.

Switzerland has the best railways in Europe: survey
Photo: Gyger

The Great Train Comparison conducted by British travel portal Loco2 compared 16 major European operators and voted the Swiss national railway operator best overall.

The compilers of the first-ever comparative report said that within Switzerland and on international services Swiss trains were “uniformly excellent”.

The SBB scooped first place in four of 12 categories and came second in a further three.

For families with kids, disabled passengers, cyclists and winter sports SBB was unbeatable, Loco2 said.

Swiss Railways were praised for “their ingenuity in converting some of their trains into playgrounds on wheels”, a reference to the Ticki Park adventure area on some intercity trains.


There was also recognition of the “sophisticated offering” for people with disabilities, cycle-friendly trains and opportunities for bike rental at stations, and the SBB Snow-n-Rail ticket that combines discounted travel to the slopes with a reduced-rate ski pass.

SBB came second for foodies, with its regional specialities winning a mention although the food could be “pricey”.

Switzerland came a close second to Germany in the “environmentalists” category, for its commitment to renewable energy, and was also runner-up in the “couples” category.

It is the second time in the space of a month that the SBB has been singled out for praise. In April it bagged first place in the 2017 European Railway Performance Index, coming out ahead of Denmark, Finland and Germany.