A first place railway!

The Swiss railway receives a very high proportion of the country’s total passenger traffic: in 2015, the so-called “modal split” was 17.1 percent which, according to Eurostat, is the highest in Europe. Austria’s railway is running behind Switzerland in second place with a modal split of 11.2 percent, followed by the Netherlands in third place with a modal split of 10.8 percent.

Electrification – that is, the development of a power supply network at the end of the 19th century – marked the beginning of the modern era. For the railway companies, this meant switching from steam and diesel to electricity.

However, a glance at the electrification of international railway networks (and the ERTMS figures) shows that even today, the spark of electricity has not yet completed its journey across the world’s railway industry. This means that the majority of fully electrified routes, including BLS as well as the Eurotunnel, Rhaetian Railway and the train networks in Taiwan and Georgia, are only short railway lines.

Having electrified 99.98 percent of its rail network, which is large in comparison to the railways mentioned above, SBB is doing extremely well. A comparative glance across the border confirms this too: around 72 percent of Austria’s rail network is electrified, while in Italy the figure is 71 percent. Incidentally, Iran brings up the rear with 2.11 percent.

A strong railway supporting a strong country.

In this year’s Global Competitiveness Report, produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Switzerland’s economy was once again ranked at number one. The report is based on an index made up of 114 indicators, one of which assesses the quality of each country’s railway. This railway indicator placed Switzerland first with 6.6 points out of 7, closely followed by Japan and Hong Kong.

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