Faster, More Frequent Service and New Equipment on Swiss Trains Starting This Summer

New Tilting Trains Reduce Travel Time



Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Rail Europe

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning June 10, travelers
 will benefit from a major increase in new equipment, more frequent service and
 faster travel times throughout the Swiss rail system, according to an
 announcement by Rail Europe, owned in part by Swiss Federal Railroads (SBB)
 and the leading North American supplier of European rail travel.
     Among the Swiss improvements:  half-hourly service will be available on
 most Intercity lines; new late-night and early-morning trains are being added;
 travel times will shrink on many routes as a result of new ICN tilting-train
 equipment; the connection from Switzerland to the south of France
 (Geneva-Nice) will be faster because of the new French high-speed TGV
 Mediterranee line to be launched in June; and more dining, family, business
 and quiet-zone facilities will be available because of new tilting train and
 double-decker train equipment.  A new special excursion, the Swiss Chocolate
 train has also been added.
 Increased frequency
     This is the first time since 1997, that there is a major increase in the
 number of trains running on the entire Swiss network.  Hourly service will
 change to half-hourly between Zurich and Biel, Zurich and Lausanne and between
 Bern and Biel.  With existing half-hourly service on other routes, this
 increase in frequency means that passengers will be able to catch a train on
 most Intercity lines every half hour.
 Burning the candle at both ends
     The Swiss railroads are also moving towards 24-hour service, helping
 travelers burn the candle at both ends.  For those attending evening cultural
 events, more than 20 new late-night trains operating on many routes will be a
 welcome addition.  Previously, few trains ran after midnight.  And there are
 new and earlier trains running in the morning to get passengers to Zurich and
 Geneva airports by 5:30 or 6 am for early morning flights.
 
     New and improved train equipment, including high-speed tilting trains
 
     Most Intercity lines will be equipped with either double-decker IC 2000
 trains or tilting ICN trains, operating at speeds up to 125 mph.  The Swiss
 Railroads began operating IC 2000 trainsets in 1997, ICN trains in June 2000,
 and have been steadily adding more of both types.
     The ICN tilting trains lean into curves, enabling them to travel faster
 and cutting 17 minutes off the previous time between Zurich and Lausanne
 (2 hrs. 26 min. vs. 2 hrs. 43 min.).  There will be one ICN train every hour
 between Geneva airport-Lausanne-Biel/Bienne-Zurich-Zurich airport-St. Gallen.
 These trains feature: a new dining/restaurant cars where a full meal is
 served; 3 business compartments in first class (4 seats each in a glass-walled
 compartment with table to work on, laptop outlets, and built-in amplifiers for
 better cell phone reception); and one "quiet car" in both first and second
 class where no cell phones, laptop computers or loud discussions are
 permitted.  A total of 24 ICN trainsets will be in service, each consisting of
 seven cars.
     Double-decker IC 2000 trains will operate on many routes.  All these
 trains have one quiet car in first and second class and 4 business
 compartments in first class.  New features on many of the IC2000 trains
 include: a "Bistro Cafe" car, where passengers purchase snacks/light meals and
 beverages at a counter and sit at small tables or stand at a bar; and a
 newly-designed children's playground/family car.
     Another Swiss innovation and a first in Europe is the Co-op Railshop, an
 onboard grocery store, which is on weekday peak-hour trains between Bern and
 Zurich.  Launched in late May 2000, the Railshop will offer 900 items,
 including beverages, cheese, meat, prepared meals, sandwiches, salads and save
 passengers shopping time.
 
     New, faster service Geneva-Nice
 
     Travelers going between Switzerland and the Riviera will get there faster
 after June 10 when a new direct connection, using France's new high-speed line
 (TGV Mediterranee) begins operating.  Travel time between Geneva and Nice will
 be cut from 7 hours 30 minutes to 6 hours.
 New Scenic Swiss Chocolate Train
     Operating once a week June-October is a new excursion, the first-class
 only Swiss Chocolate Train from Montreux, stopping in medieval Gruyeres for
 cheese, continuing on to beautiful Broc, home of a Nestle's chocolate factory,
 and returning to Montreux.  Passengers can ride in a "Belle Epoque" carriage
 (vintage 1915) or try the ultramodern panorama car. Reservations are
 mandatory.  A ticket includes coffee and croissants on the train, visits to
 Castle Gruyeres and the Nestle factory, and sampling the chocolate.  Holders
 of a Swiss Pass or Swiss Flexipass pay only a special low fee on this journey.
 
     For more information on Swiss trains or the entire Swiss Travel System,
 contact your travel agent or Rail Europe at 1-888-382-7245 (in the U.S.) or
 consult the company's Web site at http://www.raileurope.com.
 
 

SOURCE Rail Europe
    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning June 10, travelers
 will benefit from a major increase in new equipment, more frequent service and
 faster travel times throughout the Swiss rail system, according to an
 announcement by Rail Europe, owned in part by Swiss Federal Railroads (SBB)
 and the leading North American supplier of European rail travel.
     Among the Swiss improvements:  half-hourly service will be available on
 most Intercity lines; new late-night and early-morning trains are being added;
 travel times will shrink on many routes as a result of new ICN tilting-train
 equipment; the connection from Switzerland to the south of France
 (Geneva-Nice) will be faster because of the new French high-speed TGV
 Mediterranee line to be launched in June; and more dining, family, business
 and quiet-zone facilities will be available because of new tilting train and
 double-decker train equipment.  A new special excursion, the Swiss Chocolate
 train has also been added.
 Increased frequency
     This is the first time since 1997, that there is a major increase in the
 number of trains running on the entire Swiss network.  Hourly service will
 change to half-hourly between Zurich and Biel, Zurich and Lausanne and between
 Bern and Biel.  With existing half-hourly service on other routes, this
 increase in frequency means that passengers will be able to catch a train on
 most Intercity lines every half hour.
 Burning the candle at both ends
     The Swiss railroads are also moving towards 24-hour service, helping
 travelers burn the candle at both ends.  For those attending evening cultural
 events, more than 20 new late-night trains operating on many routes will be a
 welcome addition.  Previously, few trains ran after midnight.  And there are
 new and earlier trains running in the morning to get passengers to Zurich and
 Geneva airports by 5:30 or 6 am for early morning flights.
 
     New and improved train equipment, including high-speed tilting trains
 
     Most Intercity lines will be equipped with either double-decker IC 2000
 trains or tilting ICN trains, operating at speeds up to 125 mph.  The Swiss
 Railroads began operating IC 2000 trainsets in 1997, ICN trains in June 2000,
 and have been steadily adding more of both types.
     The ICN tilting trains lean into curves, enabling them to travel faster
 and cutting 17 minutes off the previous time between Zurich and Lausanne
 (2 hrs. 26 min. vs. 2 hrs. 43 min.).  There will be one ICN train every hour
 between Geneva airport-Lausanne-Biel/Bienne-Zurich-Zurich airport-St. Gallen.
 These trains feature: a new dining/restaurant cars where a full meal is
 served; 3 business compartments in first class (4 seats each in a glass-walled
 compartment with table to work on, laptop outlets, and built-in amplifiers for
 better cell phone reception); and one "quiet car" in both first and second
 class where no cell phones, laptop computers or loud discussions are
 permitted.  A total of 24 ICN trainsets will be in service, each consisting of
 seven cars.
     Double-decker IC 2000 trains will operate on many routes.  All these
 trains have one quiet car in first and second class and 4 business
 compartments in first class.  New features on many of the IC2000 trains
 include: a "Bistro Cafe" car, where passengers purchase snacks/light meals and
 beverages at a counter and sit at small tables or stand at a bar; and a
 newly-designed children's playground/family car.
     Another Swiss innovation and a first in Europe is the Co-op Railshop, an
 onboard grocery store, which is on weekday peak-hour trains between Bern and
 Zurich.  Launched in late May 2000, the Railshop will offer 900 items,
 including beverages, cheese, meat, prepared meals, sandwiches, salads and save
 passengers shopping time.
 
     New, faster service Geneva-Nice
 
     Travelers going between Switzerland and the Riviera will get there faster
 after June 10 when a new direct connection, using France's new high-speed line
 (TGV Mediterranee) begins operating.  Travel time between Geneva and Nice will
 be cut from 7 hours 30 minutes to 6 hours.
 New Scenic Swiss Chocolate Train
     Operating once a week June-October is a new excursion, the first-class
 only Swiss Chocolate Train from Montreux, stopping in medieval Gruyeres for
 cheese, continuing on to beautiful Broc, home of a Nestle's chocolate factory,
 and returning to Montreux.  Passengers can ride in a "Belle Epoque" carriage
 (vintage 1915) or try the ultramodern panorama car. Reservations are
 mandatory.  A ticket includes coffee and croissants on the train, visits to
 Castle Gruyeres and the Nestle factory, and sampling the chocolate.  Holders
 of a Swiss Pass or Swiss Flexipass pay only a special low fee on this journey.
 
     For more information on Swiss trains or the entire Swiss Travel System,
 contact your travel agent or Rail Europe at 1-888-382-7245 (in the U.S.) or
 consult the company's Web site at http://www.raileurope.com.
 
 SOURCE  Rail Europe