BERN, SWITZERLAND – The 2012 train schedule that goes into effect 11 December will offer travellers better connections for trips abroad. Some parts of the Lake Geneva region will also see improvements. But the best news for many working travellers is that mobile connections are being improved, as is the online sales service.
The CFF rail company presented highlights of the new schedule to the press Thursday 17 November.
You’ll be able to plug in and connect better in 2012
All the new trains will have electric plugs and existing intercity trains will also get them. “All the new Duplex trains on the intercity trains will be equipped with WLAN,” says Jeannine Pilloud.
A major improvement could be the installation of equipment that amplifies signals received inside and outside the train cars, giving better access to the cell phone and Internet network.
1.8 million cell phone tickets ordered and number growing
The CFF app for ordering online tickets via cell phone is proving popular, with 1.8 million users since it was introduced in 2010, and the number is growing steadily, says the rail company.
Users of the small pocket timetables will find that some of the international ones are disappearing, in favour of online information, and that smaller stations’ stops are no longer listed, but are incorporated into regional listings. All details will be available online, however.
French-speaking Switzerland, especially commuters, to see significant improvements
A host of changes for trains in the Lake Geneva region will have a significant impact:
More double-decker trains will be used on the Geneva airport/Lucerne line, offering more seats
An additional InterRegio train will run between Neuchatel and Lausanne at 07:53 and the Neuchatel/La Chaux-de-Fonds/Le Locle line will have additional service during rush hour and a pair of trains is being added to the Neuchatel to Bienne line
Canton Vaud: the S4 line is being extended from Morges to Allaman, stopping in Saint Prex and Etoy, which will now have trains every 30 minutes instead of once an hour, Monday to Friday.
Geneva: La Plaine/Geneva, more trains will run during rush hour. Coppet–Geneva–Lancy-Pont-Rouge trains, the 30-minute schedule is being extended for weekend night and trains will run every half hour on Fridays and Saturdays until the end of the day.
New international connections, travel time cut on major links
Basel-Paris will see a 30-minute cut thanks to the new TGV 2N2 Lyria Euroduplex trains that start going into service, with the 12 trains on the line gradually being replaced by the new models. Zurich to Basel will take just four hours on the new Rhin-Rhône TGV line, with trains able to go up to 320kph, and travellers from the Jura will be able to cut 1.5 hours from their trips to Paris. First class travellers will have improved service.
Germany: Interlaken to Frankfurt and Berlin, 5 trains a day in each direction; Zurich to Cologne and Hamburg, 8 trains daily in each direction.
Brussels: a new direct train from Croire (Chur) in canton Graubuenden.
Austria: 5 daily Railjet trains and 2 EuroNight trains. One of the Zurich-Vienna Railjet trains will connect with Budapest, Hungary, in both directions, every day.
Italy: a series of measures are designed to provide cleaner trains that operate on time, with punctuality on these trains a problem that affects the rest of the Swiss train schedule. The down side is that the Zurich-Milan trip will take 30 minutes longer, with only six pairs of trains. More time is being allowed in the train stations for some of the trains to provide more cleaning time and build flexibility into the schedule. Intercity trains will be added between Zurich and Chiasso for some of the runs, in addition to the Eurocity trains.
Basel-Geneva-Milan will see additional cars on weekend trains but the schedule for these trains will remain unchanged.