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How Switzerland's train services and timetables will change next year

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
How Switzerland's train services and timetables will change next year
A train in Switzerland. Photo by Lukas on Unsplash

Swiss rail operator SBB is to update its timetable at the end of 2023. Here are some key planned changes that residents in Switzerland should know about.


As is the case every year, Switzerland’s rail operator (known as Schweizerische Bundesbahnen, SBB; Chemins de fer fédéraux suisses, CFF; or Ferrovie federali svizzere, FFS, in the different Swiss languages) has announced the first set of changes that will be implemented in its 2024 timetable.

Whereas the current timetable introduced new night trains to international destinations, the revised timetable – valid from December 10th 2023 - will see a heavier focus on domestic travel, specifically the Deutschschweiz and Ticino region.

While the draft timetable will be published on May 24th 2023, here’s what we know so far.

Ticino region sees more trains

The soon-to-open Minusio stop will operating on the route between Tenero and Locarno from December. This makes the railway offer in the Locarno region even more attractive - for commuters and leisure travellers.

READ ALSO: Why is Ticino Switzerland's favourite Easter destination?


Additional stops in the Deutschschweiz

The S11, which is particularly popular with commuters, will run between Dietikon and Aarau every half hour.

The municipality of Duliken will be served with the S23 every half hour on weekdays as well as on weekends, and thus has more direct connection to larger towns Langenthal and Baden.

For night owls, a new express connection will depart from Olten to Biel/Bienne on Friday and Saturday night, with stops in Solothurn, Oensingen and Grenchen Süd.

READ ALSO: 4 things to consider when buying a travel card in Switzerland

More seats on long-haul train routes

According to SBB, a new half-hourly service is to be introduced on the Gotthard axis, allowing for more connections between German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino on the north-south axis to the delight of leisure travellers.

A quaint Ticino town overlooking Lago Maggiore.

A quaint Ticino town overlooking Lago Maggiore. The Ticino region will see more trains from later this year. Image by Jonathan Reichel from Pixabay

The southbound trains will run daily from 6 am to 8 pm, while the northbound connection will be available from 7 am to 10 pm through the Gotthard Base Tunnel every half hour.

Two IC61 connections between Basel and Interlaken will also be introduced due to a higher demand than there was for the IC6 between Basel and Brig. This means that travellers from Brig can reach Bern and Basel directly earlier than before. In the opposite direction, the last IC6 runs from Basel via Bern to Brig one hour later than before. In the night from Sunday to Monday, the previous connections from/to Interlaken will remain in place due to the maintenance in the Lötschberg Base Tunnel.

Since demand for leisure travel has been increasing steadily in Switzerland, especially on the main tourist routes to holiday regions, the Geneva-Zurich-Chur direct trains introduced in the 2023 timetable have been well received by travellers. As of December 2023, two additional direct connections on the route Geneva-Zurich-Chur will therefore be introduced on weekends.

SBB is also introducing trains with more seats on selected routes. For example, double-decker RegioExpress trains will run between Olten and Lucerne due to increasing travel demand in the regions.

Romandy update planned for 2025

In western Switzerland, the current timetable will be retained in its entirety, however SBB and the French-speaking Switzerland Transport Conference (CTSO) have agreed on a new timetable for French-speaking Switzerland from 2025.

The new timetable, which will come into force on December 15th, 2024, will introduce a new Palézieux-Vevey connection and an extension of the RegioExpress trains to Martigny, while most long-distance trains will stop in Renens.


There is also a change in the IC5 (Jurasüdfuss line). In the future, this train will always run to/from Lausanne and will stop in Renens where passengers can change for trains to/from Geneva. There will still be an hourly direct connection from Zurich to Geneva with the IC1.

The new timetable is set to improve punctuality and minimise the impact of the numerous construction projects planned throughout the Romandy over the next few years.


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