FW: [Tr2000] Switzerland: an enlightened philosophy...
- Contrast this to North American practices. Andrew Dawson
>SWISS RAIL CHANGES EXCEED NEW BRITISH TIMETABLES
>Rail news & views | December 2004
>12 December 2004
>WHILE some major changes were introduced on 12 December
>to Britain's rail timetables � including an increase of 1.7% in the
>number total trains operated � Switzerland's railways began
>running 12% more trains on the same day.
>As part of a �2.66 billion investment programme, known as Rail
>2000,by the Swiss government, a national timetable revamp has
>been introduced � affecting nine out of ten of all trains.
>Swiss transport policy aims to transfer freight traffic off the roads
>and motorways onto the railways. A package of improvements
>includes the construction of two new Alpine tunnels, links with
>the European high-speed rail network and the Rail 2000
>The result is the new timetable from 12 December resulting in
>travelling times on more than half of long-distance journeys in
>Switzerland being reduced by at least five minutes.
>And 35% of journeys have had their running times reduced by at
>least 15 minutes.
>The new timetable went into operation on 12 December without
>a hitch, reported www.swissinfo.org. Hundreds of railway
>employees had been standing by to deal with any problems that
>may have cropped up. However, they were left with little to do.
>The head of the Swiss federal railways, Benedikt Weibel, said he
>was relieved that the launch of new timetable had gone ahead
>smoothly. "It was a good day," he added.
>But a signal system failure occurred on the new 45-kilometre
>(29-mile) showcase track between Mattstetten, north of Bern,
>and Rothrist near Olten, on 12 December. One train had to be
>diverted to the old tracks and was delayed by ten minutes.
>According Mr Weibel, the likelihood of an incident happening on
>this new route � where trains are running at speeds of 160
>km/h (100 mph) � has increased along with number of trains
>running on the network.
>Many Swiss caught a train on 12 December to test the new
>timetable. But not all were satisfied with the changes. Ticket
>prices have gone up nearly four per cent on average to cover the
>costs of running extra trains.