SWITZERLAND: SBB announced on June 30 that it had reached agreement with the Federal Office for Transport over the financing of projected overspends in its infrastructure maintenance budget during the five-year plan period 2013-17.

Faced with increasing traffic volumes, SBB spent SF129m more than anticipated in 2013, and the overspend is projected to continue at SFr150m per year until 2016. Under the agreement, SBB has agreed to cover the extra outlay in 2014-15 through cost savings and increased revenue. The 2016 overspend will be met from the Rail Infrastructure Fund, which will be available to draw on from that year.

Some small upgrading and renewal projects are to be postponed until after 2017, but the ministry says that major projects in the NEAT, ZEB and high speed connections will not be affected, nor will the STEP 2025 package approved by a referendum in February. Both parties insisted that safety and punctuality would remain the top priorities.