Covid weakens demand for Swiss Federal Railways

Fewer passengers last year for the services of the Federal Railways, but demand was higher than in 2020. Keystone/Pablo Gianinazzi

Switzerland’s national railway operator suffered a CHF325 million ($347 million) loss last year due to the Covid pandemic.

This content was published on March 15, 2022 minutes

The state-run railways said about one third fewer customers used their trains in 2021, while the cargo unit experienced a stagnation in terms of volumes transported.

“Coronavirus is causing a great financial strain,” the company said in a press release on Tuesday. However, the loss was lower than in 2020, notably thanks to cost-cutting measures and increased support from the government.

The company said it intends to stabilise its long-term financial situation and save around CHF6 billion by 2030.

“Given the advantages of rail for the climate, the company expects strong growth in demand over the long term,” it noted.

Increase in staff satisfaction, high customer satisfaction and a good punctuality record were also mentioned.

The company added that it is focusing on providing a “punctual, reliable and safe railway” in 2022, despite some setbacks in regional services last year.

The Swiss Federal RailwaysExternal link, known by its acronyms in the national languages as SBB, CFF or FFS, was founded 120 years ago and has about 33,500 employees.

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