Swiss trains to experiment with lower carriage temperatures

The trial is part of an efficiency drive by Swiss Federal Railways. Keystone

In a bid to save energy and the environment, Swiss Federal Railways is experimenting with a lowering of temperatures in selected trains in the Zurich area. The heat will drop from 22 to 20 degrees Celsius.

This content was published on January 8, 2018 - 14:23 and agencies

The trains affected will carry signs to alert passengers of the test. Although only limited trains running through the city’s suburbs are concerned, positive results could be rolled out more widely across the country, the Federal Railways said on Monday.

The trial takes its cue from guidelines published by SuisseEnergieExternal link, a government-backed body working to promote environmental awareness, which puts the optimum room temperature at 20 degrees Celsius. This is two degrees lower than the current temperature on Swiss trains.

According to Federal Railways, if such a reduction was to be rolled out across all trains in the Zurich area, the energy saved would amount to 1.6GWh – the equivalent of the annual consumption of 400 households.

The experiment comes as Switzerland’s rail network – one of the world’s busiest – looks for ways to secure funding, become more efficient, and move towards a more environmentally friendly future.

+ Read about the ongoing challenges for Swiss rail travel

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Experiments have also been run with self-driving locomotives and so-called integrated mobility in a bid to become more efficient. Job cuts are also planned by 2020.

The current trial will start Tuesday and run until February 9. Passengers will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the Swiss Rail website.

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