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Swiss Federal Railways expands night-train service

Go to sleep in Zurich, wake up in Amsterdam, then go skating on Museum Square Keystone / Ramon Van Flymen

The latest Swiss train timetable, which came into effect on Sunday, provides new long-distance and regional connections for “commuters, climate-conscious leisure passengers and night owls”, according to the Federal Railways.

This content was published on December 12, 2021 - 11:40
Keystone-SDA/ts

The changes include a new night train to Amsterdam and a faster connection between Zurich and Munich (for some trains).

In cooperation with Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the Swiss Federal Railways is now operating a daily Nightjet connectionExternal link with sleeping and couchette cars from Zurich to Amsterdam. The train leaves Zurich at 9.59pm and reaches Amsterdam at 9.59am. The return leaves Amsterdam at 8.28pm and arrives in Zurich at 8.05am.

The first train left Zurich on Saturday, the Federal Railways tweeted.

“With the new timetable, the Netherlands can now be reached easily, comfortably and in a climate-friendly way. Compared with a flight, around 120kg of CO2 per person/route is saved,” it said. There is also a night connection in the opposite direction.

The Swiss Federal Railways has been discussing re-investing in sleeper trains for a few years, reacting to a climate-aware public increasingly having second thoughts about flying short distances.

The journey from Zurich to Munich in neighbouring Germany will be shortened by 30 minutes to around three-and-a-half hours – at least for three of the six connections.

‘Aare Linth’ line

Other changes include new night and morning connections in German-speaking Switzerland, more capacity on the Simplon line between Lausanne and Brig in the French-speaking part of the country and an expansion of regional services in Italian-speaking Ticino.

Also, from Sunday the new “Aare LinthExternal link” line will link the cities of Bern, Zurich and Romansh-speaking Chur in eastern Switzerland. The Federal Railways describes the hourly departures as “the most beautiful connection of city, countryside and river”.

The demand for printed pocket timetables has declined massively in recent years, the Federal Railways added. As a result, it will no longer publish printed pocket timetables.

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