Winter weather disrupts Swiss rail traffic

Extremely cold weather that hit parts of Switzerland during the night from Thursday to Friday caused technical problems, delays, and train cancellations on some lines.

Local residents walk in the snow in Geneva on December 9, 2022.
Local residents walk in the snow in Geneva on December 9, 2022. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)

As temperatures in some parts of the country plummeted into double digits below zero, train traffic suffered as well, with some lines still impacted by the weather.
The most affected on the Swiss railway network is the Simplon line, which connects Lausanne with Brig (VS), as well as the Romont (FR) -Palézieux (VD) line, where trains were delayed due to frozen train switches.
Swiss Federal Railways (CFF) are working around the clock to repair any breakdowns and get the trains moving again.
“We have teams on alert ready to deploy,” SBB spokesperson Jean-Philippe Schmidt told Swiss media.

In addition, the switches are heated to prevent them from freezing
This is an important measure, Schmidt said, because “this device allows us to avoid total chaos on the network and to restore regular traffic as quickly as possible.”

There is no word yet about how quickly the traffic will return to normal.

From one extreme weather to another

This situation is the opposite of what the SBB experienced in July 2022 during what has been described as the worst heatwave in decades.

At that time, rail traffic was disrupted because the tracks on which the trains and trams run were impacted by high temperatures. causing the so-called “track warping,” when tracks expand, deform, and become a safety hazard.

READ MORE : How the heatwave has impacted train travel in Switzerland 

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Switzerland to offer cheaper public transport options for young people

Switzerland has a good transportation network, but it can get expensive, especially for those who don’t earn much money — like students and other young people. But now there are cheaper tickets just for them.

Switzerland to offer cheaper public transport options for young people

Starting from June 1st, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and SwissPass Alliance will launch three new “simple and affordable” offers for people under 25 years of age, to encourage them to use public transport more often.

“Young people are the public transport users of tomorrow,” the SwissPass Alliance said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Some of them attach great importance to climate protection, decarbonisation, and the sustainability of their journeys.”

These are the new offers:

  • The “AG Night,” a 99-franc-per year subscription allowing unlimited travel across all the public transportation network from 7 pm until 5 am during the week and 7am on weekends and public holidays.This will replace the the ‘seven25 travelcard’, which offers similar benefits but costs 390 francs per year.
  • The “Tandem day pass” will allow holders of the general youth subscription to take a person under the age of 25 with them every day of the year for 20 francs. 
  • The “Friends day pass,” which will enable four people to use public transport together for a whole day for 20 francs per person.

What other price reductions are available for young people?
Children under six ride free when accompanied by an adult (kids in this age group range always are).

Those slightly older, between six and 16, can benefit from the Child Subscription, Accompanied Child Card, and Junior Card, the latter two of which allow youngsters in this age group to travel for free when accompanied by either a parent or another adult.
You can find out more about each of these options in this link

And there are other attractions as well…

For the very young (or young at heart and body), some Swiss trains offer cool ways to amuse yourself on those long-ish train rides.

This article has all the information:

Slides and climbing frames: How Swiss trains entertain children