SWITZERLAND: The Swiss Federal Railways board has formally approved the TransRUN plan to build a new direct alignment between Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds on the line to Morteau.

Replacing the existing line which suffers from tight curves and high maintenance costs, the direct line would cut the Neuchâtel - La Chaux-de-Fonds journey time by around a half to 14 min. There would be a new station at Cernier.

Neuchâtel canton and the federal government also support TransRUN, which will now go to a local referendum. SBB has committed to contributing SFr241m to the project, reflecting money it would otherwise have to spend on the existing route. SFr41m has been allocated to continuing maintenance of the existing line until 2022.