A great deal of interest in a partnership with SBB Cargo.

As part of the current tender concept, any organisation interested in a partnership with SBB Cargo had until 22 September to register their interest and until 15 October 2008 to submit a proposal. There has been a great deal of interest in SBB Cargo, with a total of 25 declarations of interest. Fourteen of these delivered concrete proposals that fulfilled the specified criteria by the 15 October deadline. The offers are currently being analysed and evaluated. SBB will then decide with which partners it wishes to enter into negotiations and with whom plans for a cooperation will be fixed. The final decision on any partnership is due to be made in the first half of 2009.

SBB is looking for a partner for its freight subsidiary, SBB Cargo, to help with its positioning in the international market. Partnerships for the Swiss business are also being examined at this time. Such connections would enable SBB to expand its market position, guarantee fulfilment of the federal government's targets and enable the business to be further developed according to customer needs and market demands.

In particular, SBB Cargo is expecting potential partners to make significant contributions towards reaching government targets for transferring freight from road to rail and so improving intermodal competitiveness, to secure a nationwide wagonload traffic network for Switzerland that covers its own costs, and to improve overall performance. In addition, any offers must be enforceable under anti-cartel legislation and must be sustainable.

As part of the ongoing tender concept, SBB sent out a call to potential partners at the beginning of September to register their interest in SBB Cargo. Twenty-five companies came forward and asked for tender documentation. Fourteen of these delivered concrete proposals that fulfilled the specified criteria by the 15 October deadline. Most of the offers submitted are for the international business, though several offers were also received concerning partnership on a national level. Some offers also contain cooperation proposals covering the maintenance of wagons and locomotives.

The applications are currently being evaluated against pre-defined criteria: Once this has been completed it will be time to begin the actual negotiation process with potential partners. The final decision on any partnership is due to be made in the first half of 2009.

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