SWISS FEDERAL Railways confirmed on September 25 that its first production installation of ETCS Level 2 would not be completed in time for the inauguration of the new line between Mattstetten and Rothrist on December 12 2004. The line will open with conventional signalling, and cut over to ETCS in a second phase.

As a result of the signal spacing, trains will be limited to 160 km/h on the new line, rather than 200 km/h as planned. This will add 2min to the planned 56min Bern - Zürich journey time, but SBB insists that this is still a significant improvement over the present 69min schedule. SBB blames the postponement on late delivery of on-board equipment and delays to rolling stock refurbishment which in turn have put back the driver-training programme.

  • SBB Cargo has approved a SFr23m upgrading of its Lausanne marshalling yard over the next three years to boost throughput following a restructuring of the domestic freight network. The company has ordered a further 400 low-noise sliding-wall vans from Greenbrier Germany GmbH for SFr40·4m, to follow an initial batch of 200 ordered from the Siegen plant in January. Deliveries were expected to begin in October, and run until 2006.