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FW: [Tr2000] Switzerland: an enlightened philosophy...

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  • Andrew Dawson
    Contrast this to North American practices. Andrew Dawson
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2004
      Contrast this to North American practices. Andrew Dawson

      >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.
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