Swiss railways reveals plans for more train services to European destinations
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) are expanding their services to France, Germany and Italy.
New trains connecting Swiss cities to the neighbouring countries will be put into service starting in December, SBB has announced.
The new network will be serviced by SBB together with its European partners Deutsche Bahn, French SNCF and Italian Trenitalia.
TGV Lyria, a subsidiary of SBB and the SNCF, renewed its entire fleet with the completely renovated TGVs which will run between Swiss cities and Paris.
They will offer 30 percent more connections to Paris from Geneva, Zurich, and Lausanne. That means an increase from the currently available 13,500 seats daily to 18,000 by the end of 2020.
These TGV trains will circulate six times a day between Paris and Zurich, every two hours in both directions. TGV Lyria will also provide six daily return trips between Lausanne and Paris and eight between Geneva and the French capital.
In traffic to Germany, the new high-speed ICE 4 trains — which replace ICEs in service for 30 years — will depart from Chur and Zurich, increasing their previous capacities by 20 percent.
With 830 seats, the ICE 4 will run seven times a day from Zurich to Frankfurt and Hamburg. In total, there will be more than 40 direct links between the two countries. From 2021, the service to Munich will also be extended to six pairs of trains per day, with a travel time reduced to three and a half hours, about an hour less than currently.
On the Gotthard line, the new Giruno mainline train will circulate from December to Lugano / Chiasso. From next spring, it will be gradually extended to Milan.
From 2021, after the opening of the Ceneri Base Tunnel, SBB and Trenitalia will also offer new daily connections to Italy, adding on to existing services to Milan and Venice.
The SBB will also continue to develop its night trains to and from Switzerland with the Austrian Railways (ÖBB).
“The expanded network is a response to the increased demand for international destinations, which grew by 10 percent between January and September compared to 2018”, the SBB said.