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Everything you need to know about Switzerland's new double decker trains

The Local Switzerland
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Everything you need to know about Switzerland's new double decker trains
Inside Switzerland's new trains. Photo: SBB Media

Passengers in Switzerland will be able to ride new double decker trains from next week.


Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) said the first of the 62 new Interregio double-decker trains will be on the tracks from Monday July 17th.

The full release of the trains will happen in stages. 

The first four vehicles will be launched on the Zurich-Schaffhausen from next week, subject to the approval by the Federal Office of Transport (FOT), SBB said. 

When the timetable changes in December later this year, the new trains will then operate on the Bern-Zurich-Chur (IR35), Basel-Zurich Airport (IR36) and Zurich-Schaffhausen (RE) routes.

And in the coming years, they will gradually be used on other routes in German and French-speaking Switzerland, rail bosses said. The new fleet should be up and running by the end of 2026.

READ ALSO: How Switzerland's trains and timetable will change next year

What are the new trains like?

SBB ordered the trains - known as IR-Dosto - from Swiss manufacturer Stadler two years ago for around 1.3 billion Swiss francs.

The trains are 150 metres long, and the six-carriages offer 466 seats in total. 

New double decker trains will be put into service soon.

The new double decker trains will be put into service soon. Photo:SBB media

READ ALSO: Trains in Switzerland are excellent, so why are cars still king?

Throughout the train, there will be power sockets for each seat, easily accessible bicycle spaces (eight in total at two locations, with power sockets for electric bikes), multi-function compartments with space for prams and five toilets.


The tweet below shows some more views of the new trains when they were unveiled by SBB on July 7th. 

The aim is to strengthen the existing fleet 

SBB runs 93 Regio-Dosto and IR-Dosto vehicles in total. The trains are used on Zurich's S-Bahn and on various routes in German and French-speaking Switzerland as Regio-Express and InterRegio trains.

The rail operator said the new vehicles would offer customers an "an improved travel experience".

READ ALSO: Why are rail bosses set to cut services in French-speaking Switzerland?


What else should I know about Swiss trains?

Switzerland takes rail travel very seriously. It has one of the world's world’s densest and most extensive rail networks, with around 5,300 kilometres of tracks and 804 stations.

A report from Eurostat, Europe’s Statistical Office, showed that the Swiss are Europe's most frequent train travellers per capita.

Punctuality is important to the Swiss. Trains run according to a sophisticated and very precise schedule, departing each station at regular intervals, and are closely linked and coordinated with other public transport systems, like buses and trams.

Meanwhile, some trains even cater to families in a bid to keep children entertained on rail journeys. 

Long-distance InterCity double-decker trains have a ‘family coach’ which looks like a playground, equipped with slides, climbing sets and other games.

READ ALSO: Slides and climbing frames - how Swiss trains entertain children


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