The Swiss railway network, which consists of some 3,230 km of track, is used to transport more than one million passengers every day on 10,000 trains. The railway is popular amongst people in Switzerland as a means of getting from place to place and of transporting goods. The SBB network is also one of the busiest in the world.
To cope with such heavy use, SBB has to carry out numerous checks, inspections and interventions. A per-fectly maintained railway network is essential for ensuring that customers arrive at their destination safely and on time.
On top of this, the entire track – including ballast, rails and sleepers – needs to be renewed every 20 to 50 years.
The suspension of all services on the line between Lausanne and Puidoux provides an opportunity to max-imise the amount of essential work that can be carried out. This enables SBB to increase its efficiency and reduce the costs of each intervention. This summer, the track will be completely renewed, the station plat-forms will be brought into line with the requirements of the Swiss Disability Discrimination Act and the under-passes and the edges of the tracks will be made more secure
Maintenance work will also be carried out on the tunnels and the secondary infrastructure. Intensive work over seven weeks – as opposed to the eight months or more it would take if a single track were to remain in operation. Which means that around CHF 14 million (i.e. 30%) of the annual funding from the Swiss federal government can be freed up for other work. This also limits the inconvenience caused to local residents and passengers to a short period.
More than 600 workers have been drafted in to carry out the essential maintenance between Lausanne and Puidoux. Thanks to the suspension of passenger and freight traffic, they will benefit from an increased level of safety and less restrictive night-time schedules.
The work site will be open to visitors this summer. More information will be released in May 2018.