SBB Passenger rolling stock.

How will the SBB Passenger rolling stock fleet change in the future?

As of now, the Passenger fleet is due to be reduced gradually from twenty to six or seven types of vehicle. This is to make it easier for passengers to distinguish between trains while also reducing costs and complexity. Transport capacity will be increased further by replacing single-deck rolling stock with double-deck vehicles on very busy routes. Ensuring these trains are accessible from platform level will not only benefit people with limited mobility but all our other passengers too. Greater customer benefits and a consistent focus on service will also be a top priority with future fleets.

What rolling stock is SBB introducing?

EuroCity InterCity InterRegio S-Bahn
International National Cross-regional Regional
Not entitled to public-sector funding
(long-distance transport)
Not entitled to public-sector funding
(long-distance transport)
Not entitled to public-sector funding
(long-distance transport)
Entitled to public-sector funding (regional transport)
> 2h (average journey time)
approx. 40’
approx. 25’
approx. 20’
≥ hourly (service) 30 - 60’
(long-term 15 - 60’)
30 - 60’ 7.5’ - 30’ / 60’
Comfort Comfort and capacity Capacity Capacity
EuroCity InterCity InterRegio S-Bahn
- Single-deck rolling stock
- Up to 250 km/h abroad
- Customer-oriented zone concept
- High-capacity double-deck rolling stock
- Standard 200 km/h
- InterCity with food and drink, quiet and family zones
- High-capacity double-deck rolling stock capable of fast acceleration
- Standard 160 km/h
- High-capacity single- and double-deck rolling stock capable of fast acceleration
- Comfortable standing areas
- Standard 160 km/h
- Unstaffed

Examples: ETR 610, Giruno but also international rolling stock belonging to foreign railway companies

Example: long-distance double-deck train, IC 2000

Examples: Long-distance double-deck InterRegio, IC 2000 InterRegio, InterRegio double-decker

Examples: Flirt, Regio double-decker

  • Train ETR-610
  • Train FV-Dosto
  • Train IR-Dosto
  • Train Flirt

What are the challenges?

Passengers and buyers (cantons, regions) are demanding ever higher levels of capacity, comfort and service. The new and exciting innovations of yesterday are now considered standard (e.g. power sockets, air conditioning, customer information screens and mobile phone reception). Increasing requirements and more stringent standards and legislation are driving the trend towards more complex rolling stock. This calls for new approaches to maintenance and requires heavy investment in maintenance facilities. Procuring and introducing new rolling stock will continue to pose challenges in future and will be influenced by a limited supplier market, with cost pressures rising and financing options becoming increasingly limited. With its Passenger rolling stock strategy, SBB is aiming to harmonise customer’s needs, cost-effectiveness, railway production requirements and maintenance.

Why are there always so many capacity bottlenecks during peak periods?

SBB has a certain reserve of rolling stock which it uses to supplement the regular compositions during peak periods. Since modern multiple units cannot be separated and extended by using extra individual coaches, multiple units are sometimes operated with a simple traction system during the day and with multiple-unit train control during peak periods. In long-distance services, various trains will be boosted by additional coach groups during peak periods. However, extensions like these will be limited by platform lengths and by other infrastructure facilities such as the distances between points and signals.

Will investing in new rolling stock mean higher ticket prices?

The procurement of spare parts will be funded from the revenue income from our current business. Investment in rolling stock to increase capacity or expand SBB’s offer will be designed to be covered by the anticipated demand. Other factors have been responsible for driving ticket prices up over the last few years (e.g. higher train path prices).

How will SBB implement the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in its rolling stock?

SBB is implementing the provisions of the 2004 DDA. A range of adjustments will also be made to rolling stock. People with limited mobility will find accessibility in trains has improved by the time the adjustment period expires in late 2023: low-floor access, optimised spaces for wheelchair users in the access areas and wheelchair bays, loudspeaker announcements for the blind and visually impaired, information screens for the hard of hearing and toilets that meet the needs of all our customers. Where possible, the stations are also being structurally adapted to ensure the accessibility of all our trains.

How energy efficient is SBB’s rolling stock?

Energy efficiency is a top priority for SBB. New rolling stock has to meet stringent requirements when it comes to energy consumption. When upgrades are made to existing stock, measures will be implemented to reduce energy consumption wherever possible. However, energy will also be saved in operational use, for example through energy-efficient driving: locomotive drivers will be supported by an IT solution which will enable them to avoid unnecessary braking and accelerating manoeuvres.

SBB wants to be saving a total of 600 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in electrical energy and fossil fuels by 2025. This is equal to the energy consumption of around 150,000 households. Thanks to these energy savings, SBB will be able to run on renewable energy alone in future and will avoid resorting to nuclear power.

Further content