TRAINS all over Switzerland ground to an untimely halt in the evening peak hour on June 22 when a short circuit in a transmission line triggered a chain reaction that cut all traction power supplies to the Swiss network.

The original fault occurred at 17.08 on a transmission line between Amsteg and Rotkreuz, when a parallel transmission route normally available as back-up was out of use. Power stations feeding the Gotthard route were then only able to supply the Ticino area, leading to an overload and automatic shutdown of stations in G