SWISS Federal Railways has decided not to hive off its workshops to an external supplier, but to reorganise them into service centres to trim SFr100m off the current rolling stock maintenance budget of SFr600m a year by 2005. The programme, dubbed ’Redesign Service Rollmaterial’, will mean cutting the number of workshop staff from 4700 to 3600, but according to SBB Chief Executive Benedikt Weibel there will be no redundancies.

Maintenance will become the responsibility of the passenger and freight businesses. The ’industry workshops’ at Yverdon and Olten will maintain passenger locos and those at Biel and Bellinzona freight motive power. The shops in Zürich will become a ’service platform’ handling all passenger vehicles, and coaches will also be maintained at service centres in Basel, Genève, Bern and Luzern. The existing loco depot at Lausanne will close, but a freight service centre will be established. Other freight service centres will be at Biel, Basel, Zürich, Bellinzona, Lugano and Chiasso, and possibly at Erstfeld. Minor depots with cleaning facilities for passenger coaches will be located at Brig, Bellinzona and and Rorschach.