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Old 05.06.2011, 16:27
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Missing links in Swiss rail network

Most of us agree that the Swiss rail network is one of the best around. Despite this, the Swiss always seem to be working to improve it further.

Are there any missing links that you would like to see added to the network if money was no object?

Here are three possibilities to start with.

1. Brienzwiler to Brünig-Hasliberg, avoiding Meiringen. This would probably save about 50 minutes on the connections from Brienz to Lucerne.

2. Saanen to Gruben, avoiding Gstaad. The original route was planned to go direct between these two stations. It was only pressure from the landowners in Gstaad that persuaded the rail comany to divert the route. A direct link should save around 20 minutes.

3. A tunnel to connect Nesslau to Walenstadt. This would provide another route South from St. Gallen, avoiding the long route from Wattwil via Ziegelbrücke, possibly saving around 40 minutes.

Where would you send the engineers?
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Last edited by Deep Purple; 30.09.2011 at 18:29.
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Old 05.06.2011, 17:14
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

Fribourg to Bulle would be nice.
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Old 05.06.2011, 17:22
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

If I want to go to Zurich, I have to go to Luzern. If I want to go to any of the other little towns around Luzern, I have to go to Luzern. And if Luzern train station has a problem (as it did a few weeks ago), it's a big mess. So I'd like a "ring track" to go around Luzern.
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Old 05.06.2011, 17:43
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

Not so much a missing link on the network, but the actual trains themselves. I remember when every long distance train had at least a buffet trolley, if not a restaurant wagon. The Locarno to Basel IR is over 4 hours and regularly nothing to eat or drink, compare to the IC from Lugano to Zurich that has a decent (if pricey) menu, a comfortable restaurant, which is invariably full, and a reasonable choice of drinks. Also went from Arth G to Romanshorn, another lengthy journey with nothing more than an autovend machine serving gummy bears and dreadful coffee. Whilst I am sure some cuts were needed to the slightly extravagant and under used services of the past I definitely think catering needs to be looked at on certain routes.

Other than that I love it!

Edit; I also think some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of Switzerland remain so because the rail network doesn't go there.

Last edited by cch alien; 05.06.2011 at 17:57.
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Old 05.06.2011, 18:08
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

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Most of us agree that the Swiss rail network is one of the best around. Despite this, the Swiss always seem to be working to improve it further.

Are there any missing links that you would like to see added to the network if money was no object?

Here are three possibilities to start with.

1. Brienzwiler to Brünig-Hasliberg, avoiding Meiringen. This would probably save about 50 minutes on the connections from Brienz to Lucerne.

2. Saanen to Gruben, avoiding Gstaad. The original route was planned to go direct between these two stations. It was only pressure from the landowners in Gstaad that persuaded the rail comany to divert the route. A direct link should save around 20 minutes.

3. A tunnel to connect Nesslau to Walenstadt. This would provide another route South from St. Gallen, avoiding the long route from Wattwil via Ziegelbrücke, possibly saving around 40 minutes.

Where would you send the engineers?
I honestly don't think that the railway system is all that. If you look at the distance covered from Olten-Basel or Olten-Zurich, it would be nothing more than a metro system in a larger city. It would be nice if there were more frequencies so that a journey wouldn't take at least 1h to get to anywhere.

Last edited by lost_inbroad; 05.06.2011 at 18:46.
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Old 05.06.2011, 18:23
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

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If I want to go to Zurich, I have to go to Luzern. If I want to go to any of the other little towns around Luzern, I have to go to Luzern. And if Luzern train station has a problem (as it did a few weeks ago), it's a big mess. So I'd like a "ring track" to go around Luzern.
To some extent, Lucerne and Zurich have the same problems of effectively being terminus stations. The trouble is that inconvenient lake getting in the way.

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I also think some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of Switzerland remain so because the rail network doesn't go there.
Yes. I wouldn't want to see totally new routes into areas not covered by rail at present.
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Old 05.06.2011, 18:44
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

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If I want to go to Zurich, I have to go to Luzern. If I want to go to any of the other little towns around Luzern, I have to go to Luzern. And if Luzern train station has a problem (as it did a few weeks ago), it's a big mess. So I'd like a "ring track" to go around Luzern.
Do you know how much countryside would have to ruined for this to happen? I don't think it's a price worth paying for a problem on one day! Do you?
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Old 05.06.2011, 19:30
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

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I honestly don't think that the railway system is all that. If you look at the distance covered from Olten-Basel or Olten-Zurich, it would be nothing more than a metro system in a larger city. It would be nice if there were more frequencies so that a journey wouldn't take at least 1h to get to anywhere.
The Swiss rail system is in many parts just a metro system. The Zürich S-Bahn is in many parts faster and more frequent than the metro systems of many towns I've travelled in. In many other countries trains that are neither metros nor locals involve some sort of seat reservation system, quite often with some yield management system adjusting the fares to encourage you to take the trains nobody else wants (airline style). Swiss railways have admittedly dabbled with a bit of that too but by no means to the extent of many other countries. The Swiss railway system works like a huge metro.
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Old 05.06.2011, 19:38
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

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if money was no object?
there's two fabulous projects, already mentionned in threads on this forum I think, for very fast trains between towns (like http://www.swissmetro.ch/).

That would be amazing.
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Old 05.06.2011, 20:38
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

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there's two fabulous projects, already mentionned in threads on this forum I think, for very fast trains between towns (like http://www.swissmetro.ch/).

That would be amazing.
A bit different to what I was thinking of but it would certainly assist some of the commuter issues. Linking Zurich, Berne and Basel may be just about realistic. I cannot see it getting much further that that though.
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Old 05.06.2011, 20:53
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Re: Missing links in Swiss rail network

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Do you know how much countryside would have to ruined for this to happen? I don't think it's a price worth paying for a problem on one day! Do you?
Do you really think such problems are so isolated? Do you take the train to/through Luzern every day?

I take the train through Luzern every work day and quite often on weekends also. The train station is at capacity and the line between Luzern and Zürich is also at the limit, due to some of the single track areas, notably the track past the Rotsee. Delays of 4 minutes (aren't counted in the statistics) are common. At least once a month there is a delay more than 15 minutes and/or the train is cancelled altogether.

Currently there are three tracks into Luzern and one of those is narrow gauge. If either of the normal gauge tracks is blocked, train traffic almost comes to a standstill, with an exception for the long distance trains. The roads are not much better, especially with the current construction.

At least there are a lot of people who agree with you that the countryside must not be ruined. So they want to spend 1 billion CHF to build a new train station. All that money and I will still have to go through Luzern twice a day. (Of course I will probably be retired before they're finished, so it's not that relevant.)

I prefer the Luzern North solution, where they would build a new station or expand the existing one in Emmenbrücke. Not a lot of countryside would be ruined - it's already very industrial. And it would separate the tourists from the commuters. But more people prefer to dig and spend money, even better when it's federal money.
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