Rail service to change on 13 December 2015: Ambitious timetable change to shake up services on the east–west corridor.

From 13 December 2015, many customers can expect changes to their familiar timetables, both on regional services and along the Swiss east–west railway corridor. This year's timetable change is the most ambitious since the introduction of "Rail 2000" in 2004. Passengers will benefit from improvements, but will also have to change their habits in some instances and get used to new routes in the Greater Zurich Area.

The timetable change on 13 December 2015 is set to be the most ambitious since "Rail 2000" was introduced in 2004. This is partly due to the Zurich cross-city link being opened to long-distance traffic. Meanwhile, extensive construction work is starting between Renens in the canton of Vaud and Lausanne as part of the "Léman 2030" project. This work on the east–west corridor, the main artery of the Swiss railway network, will inevitably have an impact on the timetable. For this reason, SBB is changing the routes of various long-distance train journeys throughout Switzerland that run along this corridor. There will not be any significant changes to the timetable for north–south connections. Overall, long-distance services are set to expand by 660,000 train-kilometres, or roughly one percent, while regional services will increase by as much as 2.3 million train-kilometres, or four percent. You can view all the changes on an interactive map at: http://www.sbb.ch/en/timetable-change.html

The most important changes in brief:

  • East–west corridor: The Zurich cross-city link will now be used by longdistance traffic on the east–west corridor. The western exit route on the Zurich cross-city link between Löwenstrasse station and Zurich Altstetten will be brought into operation once the bridge construction is complete in December 2015. This will allow long-distance trains on the east–west corridor to be directed along the cross-city link. Three long-distance services (instead of the current two) will now run between Zurich main station and St. Gallen. The existing InterCity service between Geneva Airport and St. Gallen (via Bern and Zurich main station) will now be non-stop between Winterthur and St. Gallen. This will reduce the travel time heading west to St. Gallen from Zurich by 18 minutes.
    In future, the Konstanz–Zurich–Biel/Bienne InterRegio service will terminate at
    Zurich main station.
  • Western Switzerland: Urgent railway expansions to the tune of some 3 billion Swiss francs are being carried out between Lausanne and Geneva as part of the "Léman 2030" project, with work set to be completed in 2025. This is the largest construction project of the coming decade. For commuters in Western Switzerland, this means significant changes to both regional and long-distance services. Passengers travelling from North-West to Western Switzerland and vice versa will change at Biel/Bienne or Olten. A half-hourly service is being introduced from Neuchâtel to La Chaux-de-Fonds and Buttes, while the RER Vaud is to be extended to Grandson. Meanwhile, some new services are on the cards. The Simplon car-carrying service, which runs from Brig to Iselle, will now travel between the Valais and Italy every 90 minutes.
  • Basel–Zurich–Eastern Switzerland: The "Flugzug" ("plane train") from Basel SBB will now travel via Zurich main station to Zurich Airport, increasing the journey time by 9 minutes. A large number of the Basel–Aarau–Zurich InterRegio trains will now continue on to St. Gallen via Zurich Airport, with stops in Winterthur, Wil in the canton of St. Gallen and Gossau.
  • International traffic: There will be new departure times for international services from Zurich main station to Stuttgart main station via Schaffhausen, which will improve connections in Stuttgart. SBB will also be offering new ICE services from Chur via Basel to Frankfurt and Hamburg. This will increase the number of direct connections between Basel SBB and Chur.
  • Zurich S-Bahn: The second stage in the fourth phase of expansion will bring a number of new lines and routes to the Zurich S-Bahn. There will also be changes in the journey times of a number of services. These measures aim to significantly improve the reliability and punctuality of the trains, making it easier to keep to the timetables and ensure that connections can be made even during peak hours. This will lead to slightly longer journey times on some routes.

2016 timetable on fahrplanentwurf.ch

The Swiss Federal Office of Transport (FOT) has opened the consultation phase for the 2016 timetable. The drafts of the new timetable for trains, cableways, boats and buses, which will be valid from 13 December 2015, can be viewed online at www.fahrplanentwurf.chLink opens in new window.. Any discrepancies found in the timetable drafts must be reported by 14 June 2015. The timetable procedure involves ironing out any discrepancies in the schedule. Concerns about the concept itself have already been dealt with at the planning stage for the services. You can send comments directly to the office responsible for public transport in your canton using the online form provided. The office will examine the details and take them into account if necessary or retain them as a basis for the planning procedure for the next timetable year. The Zurich SBahn timetables are not part of this procedure. They have already been published by the canton as part of the timetable consultation process.

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