Timetable change on 11 December 2016: Half an hour faster to the south.

This year’s timetable change on 11 December will be heavily influenced by the opening of the new Gotthard Tunnel, which will reduce the duration of journeyson the north–south axis. A new touristic service will go into operation on themountain route. In general, there will be minor changes and improvements in the individual regions. SBB Cargo will be modernising its production and range of services concept for freight.

At the end of 2016, travel times from north to south will become shorter – initially by around 30 minutes – thanks to the new Gotthard Base Tunnel. Further travel-time reductions will be achieved after the Ceneri Base Tunnel goes into operation. This tunnel is scheduled to open at the end of 2020, when customers travelling between German-speaking Switzerland and Italy will benefit from the full reduction in traveltime of approximately 60 minutes. Passengers travelling to southern Ticino will get totheir destinations around 45 minutes faster than today. From the end of 2020, trains between German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino will operate every half hour instead of every hour, while trains between Zurich and Milan will run every hour rather than every two hours.

New touristic service on the mountain route.

Along with the new route through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, SBB will also continue to operate the previous mountain route, helping to increase and develop tourism in the St. Gotthard region. Plans here call for trains to run hourly on the route, which will also offer connections to long-distance services in Erstfeld, Bellinzona and Lugano. InterRegio trains coming from Basel and Zurich will run until Erstfeld in the future.There will also be new direct connections from the Gotthard region and the Leventina district to Lugano, Mendrisio and Chiasso. On weekends when tourist numbers are high, certain InterRegio trains will offer an extended service to Göschenen and thus connections to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn running towards Andermatt. Between April and October, an InterRegio train will operate between Zurich and Bellinzona on the mountain route on weekends and public holidays. This direct connection will offer extremely attractive travel times for cyclists and hikers. A further special service will be the Gotthard Panorama Express, which will offer passengers interesting presentationson local attractions, regional history and the Gotthard legend from spring to autumn. (For further information, visit: www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/holidays--shortbreaks-in-switzerland/scenic-trains/gotthard-panorama-express.html)

SBB Cargo to modernise its range of services.

The opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel will not only improve passenger services, it will also result in more train paths for freight services. A total of 160 freight trains cancurrently travel on the Gotthard north–south axis every day, but this number will increase to 210 on 11 December 2016.

SBB Cargo is also working with customers to modernise its production and range of services concept for wagonload freight operations. The company accounts for 25 percent of all road/rail transport volume in Switzerland, which means it plays a very important role in the logistics supply chains of Swiss firms. Wagonload freight is and will remain a strategic core business area, one that will be strengthened for the longterm by two components. First of all, three new processing phases at the marshalling yards will allow today’s capacities to be distributed over 24 hours instead of being concentrated in just a few peak periods. This will also enable better use of the rail infrastructure. Secondly, SBB Cargo will launch a booking system for customers when the timetable change comes into effect, allowing them to reserve specific collectionand delivery times and receive binding confirmation.

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