Switzerland - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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Introduction

This list is based on the timetable valid 13 December 2020 - 11 December 2021. Standard abbreviations used are explained in General Information document.

Map references for each route entry are given in parentheses ( ). References prefixed "ERA-E" refer to the European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball. References prefixed "ERA-R" are to the European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - Switzerland) by M.G. Ball. References prefixed "S+W", or in italic, refer to Eisenbahnatlas Schweiz by Schweers + Wall.

Obscure services

Genève Lancy-Pont-Rouge — Stade de Genève

(ERA-E 70A3; ERA-R 139B1; S+W 68D3) CH21/01

This branch off the Lancy-Pont-Rouge line, to a halt in La Praille marshalling yard, is used by special or extended trains for home football matches of Servette FC at the nearby stadium. Details of fixtures may be found at www.servettefc.ch.

Renens avoiding line: Denges-Echandens (Les Lécheires) — Bussigny

[150, 210] (ERA-E 70C5; ERA-R 140A1; S+W 70C2-C3) CH21/02

This north to west curve connects the Neuchâtel and Genève lines and is used by hourly IC5 trains not booked to call intermediately between Yverdon-les-Bains and Morges.

Kerzers

[305, 291] (ERA-E 67B2 not shown; ERA-R 141A4; S+W 18C3) CH21/03

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Kerzers.jpg


The Bern - Neuchâtel and Payerne - Lyss lines cross at Kerzers by means of a flat crossing, with platforms 1 and 3 on the Lyss line, and platforms 4 and 6 on the Neuchâtel line. A short curve from the Neuchâtel platforms towards Payerne is used by the hourly S5 stopping services between Bern and Murten/Morat, which reverse in platform 4 and use the curve between calls at Kerzers and Galmiz, as well as the Murten/Morat - Kerzers short services, operated by the same unit between Bern turns. The curve from the Lyss platforms towards Bern is done by a majority of the hourly S52 Bern to Kerzers services, which run into platform 3. The connection between the Lyss platforms and the Payerne line is done by the following services which are booked to use platform 3. N.B. Some of the trains below run every day but in previous years only used platform 3 on weekdays ((1)-(5)), it is assumed that this practice continues in 20/21.

S9-24914 05:04 Kerzers – Lausanne
S9-24918 06:04 Kerzers – Lausanne
SSuX S9-24976 18:04 Kerzers – Lausanne
SSuX S9-24980 19:04 Kerzers – Lausanne
SSuX S9-24986 20:04 Kerzers – Lausanne
SSuX S9-24907 Murten/Morat - 05:51 Galmiz – Kerzers
S9-24959 Lausanne - 17:51 Galmiz – Kerzers
S9-24965 Lausanne - 18:51 Galmiz – Kerzers
S9-24969 Lausanne - 19:51 Galmiz – Kerzers
S9-24989 Lausanne - 23:51 Galmiz – Kerzers

Bern avoiding line: Zollikofen (Löchligut) — Ostermundigen (Wankdorf)

[304, 344] (ERA-E 67B1; ERA-R 139A5-139B5; S+W 66C3) CH21/04

This north to east curve enables trains to run between the Olten and Interlaken lines without reversal.

SSuX 15020 Wiler - 07:16 Zollikofen - Ostermundigen

Because of engineering works between 22 November and 11 December, all the half-hourly S3 services between Biel/Bienne and Bern are diverted over this curve, starting and terminating at Ostermundigen and not serving Bern.

Bern — Bern Stöckacker/Bern Europaplatz (Bern Weyermannshaus)

[299, 302, 303, 305, 306] (ERA-E 67B1, not shown; ERA-R 139A4; S+W 66B3) CH21/05

There are two double-track routes between Bern and Bern Weyermannshaus where lines to Belp, Kerzers and Flamatt diverge.

The southern pair are SBB, on the surface throughout, and are used mainly by trains via Flamatt, running to and from the lower numbered platforms at Bern.

The northern pair are BLS, pass through the Donnerbühl Tunnel, and are used mainly by trains via Belp or Kerzers, or to Schwarzenburg, running to and from the higher numbered platforms (10, 12 and 13) at Bern.

However, there are exceptions:

  • IR trains from Neuchâtel use the SBB line but those to Neuchâtel use the BLS line.
  • S3 trains from Bern terminating at Belp are booked to use platform 1 at Bern and should therefore cross from the SBB line to to the BLS line at Bern Weyermannshaus. In the other direction, they arrive at Bern on platform 10 and so stay on the BLS line (but see Note below for temporary arrangements during engineering work in 2021)

Note: Large-scale engineering work at Bern is ongoing and certain platforms will be closed for long periods. This may mean amendments to the above arrangements. During 2021, until further notice, all trains to and from the Thun via Belp line will arrive and depart from low-numbered platforms and thus cross to/from the SBB line in both directions.

A temporary island platform (platforms 49/50) has been built to the west of the main station by the carriage sidings. These platforms are only available to and from the SBB line, so any trains shown as arriving or departing at these platforms will have to use the SBB line.

Lötschberg Basistunnel: Reichenbach im Kandertal (Abzw Wengi-Ey) / Frutigen – Visp (Abzw St German)

[300] (ERA-E 71C5-C3; ERA-R 141C2-148A5; S+W 77D1-78A4) CH21/06

The Lötschberg Base Tunnel is used by non-stop trains between Spiez and Visp. Between Abzw Wengi-Ey and Abzw. Frutigen-Nordportal, at the northern end of the tunnel, trains may either run through the single-track Engstige Tunnel or stay on the old line, gaining the tunnel by running through platform 2 at Frutigen station. This depends on operating convenience. One train each way is booked to call at Frutigen platform 2.

SuX IC1093 Bern - 23:17 Frutigen - Brig
IC807 Brig - 05:54 Visp - Romanshorn


There is a single track connection between the north portal of the Lötschberg Base Tunnel and the east side of Frutigen station. This is used by trains using the Basistunnel which call at Frutigen platform 3. It is not possible for trains to reach platforms 1 or 2 using this connection. No services use this connection in the present timetable.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Frutigen.jpg


The European Train Control System (Level 2) is used through the Lötschberg Base Tunnel, so any train not so equipped has to run via the old main line.

Hindelbank (Abzw Hardfeld) — Bern (Abzw Mattstetten Ost)

[450] (ERA-E 67C2; ERA-R 139B5; S+W 20A2) CH21/07

This connection onto the Olten - Bern high speed line is used by trains calling at Burgdorf and running non-stop between there and Bern.

Solothurn — Rothrist (Abzw Wanzwil) (via Gishübel Tunnel)

[410] (ERA-E 67C3, ERA-R 135C1, S+W 9D4-10B4) CH21/08

This branch off the Olten - Bern high speed line is used by trains non-stop between Olten and Solothurn.

Rothrist — Bern (Wylerfeld) (via Murgenthal and Grauholz tunnels)

[450] (ERA-E 68A3 - 67B2; ERA-R 136A2-139A5; S+W 10C3-66C2) CH21/09

Zürich - Bern and Luzern - Bern trains not stopping intermediately between Rothrist and Bern use the new direct line, while stopping trains use the original route. Zürich - Solothurn trains (see CH21/08) and non-stop trains between Burgdorf and Bern (see CH21/07) use parts of the direct line.

Rothrist — Olten (via Born Tunnel)

[450] (ERA-E 68A3; ERA-R 136A2; S+W 10C3-D2) CH21/10

This line opened in 1981, but now forms the northern part of the Olten - Bern high speed line. It is used by trains between Olten and Langenthal or Bern which do not stop at Aarburg-Oftringen, also by trains non-stop between Olten and Solothurn. Note, however, that IR trains terminating in Olten have been observed being routed via Aarburg-Oftringen instead of via this route.

Aarburg-Oftringen south curve: Rothrist (Abzw Aarburg-Oftringen West) — Zofingen (Abzw. Aarburg-Oftringen Süd)

[455, 510] (ERA-E 68A3; ERA-R 136A2; S+W 10D3) CH21/11

This west to south curve links the lines from Bern and from Luzern to Olten. It is used by the hourly IR Service between Bern and Luzern via Zofingen. (Note that trains via this curve normally use the connection off the south side of the main line at Rothrist in both directions. Only the local services from Rothrist to Aarburg-Oftringen use the dive-under).

Muttenz — Liestal

[500] (ERA-E 67C4; ERA-R 134C4-134C3; S+W 62C3-10B1) CH21/12

Fast trains between Basel and Liestal not booked to call intermediately use this line which passes through the Adler tunnel (5.3km).

Basel Area

Click on the thumbnail for a full-sized map.

Basel.jpg


Basel avoiding line: Basel Bad Bf (Gellert) — Muttenz

[500, 700] (ERA-E 67C4; ERA-R 134B4; S+W 62B2-62C3) CH21/13

This north to east curve enables trains to run between the DB station at Basel Bad and the Olten/Zürich main line without reversal.

The curve has no booked passenger use but additional trains sometimes operate to Basel Bad Bf for exhibitions and trade fairs, details of which can be obtained from the Congress Center Basel website. A regular schedule is 07:56 Zürich HB - Basel Bad Bf.

Basel SBB — Muttenz (via Gbf Wolf)

[500] (ERA-E 67C4 not shown; ERA-R 134B4; S+W 62B3-C3) CH21/14

This route is an alternative to the normal main line east out of Basel, via high level lines through Basel Güterbahnhof and the overbridge approach to the west end of Basel Rangierbahnhof, thence by a spur to Muttenz station.

For pathing reasons, the S3 local service Porrentruy/Laufen - Basel SBB (reverse) - Olten is booked to use this route to and from platforms 16 and 17 on the south side of Basel SBB station.

Basel SBB — Muttenz (via Gbf Wolf and Basel Rangierbahnhof)

[500] (ERA-E 67C4 not shown; ERA-R 134B4; S+W 62B3-C3) CH21/14A

This route is another alternative to the main line east out of Basel, which is used by S1 trains from Frick or Lauterbourg to Basel SBB when the main line is blocked by engineering work. Trains run round the north side of Basel Rangierbahnhof, thence by the high-level lines through Basel St Jakob (CH21/14) and the diveunder line to the low-numbered platforms as mentioned in CH21/15. Trains in the other direction use the diveunder then the route as described in CH21/14 to Muttenz station.

This route is being used on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 until 31 October. S3 trains to Basel going this way can be identified by the call at Muttenz being omitted.

Basel SBB — St Jakob

(ERA-E 67C4 not shown; ERA-R 134B4; S+W 62B3) CH21/15

Special trains operate for FC Basel home matches to a platform adjacent to the St Jakob stadium, on the the route from Basel SBB to Muttenz via Gbf Wolf (CH21/14). Outward trains from platforms 1 to 5 use the new diveunder route beneath the station throat to Basel Gbf, but trains from other platforms follow the ground-level route.

For evening matches, there is normally just one outward train, at 18:45 from platform 4 at Basel SBB. Return trains - at 21:30 and 22:07 - generally follow route CH21/14. Routing and timing variations occur from game to game: timings and departure platforms are advertised by paper notices at each platform entrance, usually the day before a match.

Information on FC Basel matches can be found at www.fcb.ch.

Olten avoiding line: Tecknau — Dulliken

[500, 650] (ERA-E 68A3; ERA-R 136A2; S+W 10D2) CH21/16

The hourly service of IR trains between Basel SBB and Zürich HB, calling at Sissach and Aarau, uses this north-to-east curve to avoid reversal at Olten.

Killwangen-Spreitenbach — Othmarsingen

[650] (ERA-E 68B4; ERA-R 136C2; S+W 12A1-11B2) CH21/17

Fast trains between Zürich HB and Olten not booked to call at Baden or Brugg AG use this line which passes through the Heitersberg tunnels (4.9km) to the south of Baden. Trains with no scheduled stops between Zürich HB and Arth-Goldau may also run via this line and Wohlen.

Zürich HB - Zürich Altstetten (via Durchmesserlinie)

[650] (ERA-E 68C3; ERA-R 138B5; S+W 64B3-C3) CH21/18

Trains via the low level platforms, 31 to 34, at Zurich HB are local services S2, S8, S14 and S19, plus most long-distance ones via Oerlikon and Altstetten. Westbound long-distance trains, but not local ones, also use the new flyover line to Zürich Altstetten. These are departures from Zürich HB hourly:

  • 06:10 to 21:10 IR to Basel SBB (calling at Zürich Altstetten)
  • 06:32 to 20:32 IC to Genève Aeroport
  • 07:02 to 23:02 IC to Brig or Bern
  • 08:04 to 18:04 IC to Genève Aeroport

Zürich HB - Thalwil

[660, 720, 900] (ERA-E 68C3; ERA-R 138B5-138B4; S+W 64C3-12C3) CH21/19

Fast trains between Zürich HB and Thalwil not booked to call intermediately use this line which passes through the Zimmerberg-Basistunnel (9.4km).

Zürich Giesshübel - Zürich Wiedikon

[714] (ERA-E 68C3, not clearly shown; ERA-R 138B5-138B4; S+W 64C4-64C3) CH21/20

Steam trains run on the last Sunday of the month between April and October (except July, but 1 August instead) from Zürich Wiedikon to Sihlbrugg via a connection not normally used by passenger trains.

D SuO 31931 12:00 Zürich Wiedikon - Sihlbrugg
D SuO 31937 15:20 Zürich Wiedikon - Sihlbrugg
D SuO 31930 Sihlwald - 11:39 Zürich Saalsporthalle - Zürich Wiedikon
D SuO 31936 Sihlbrugg - 14:59 Zürich Saalsporthalle - Zürich Wiedikon

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Zurich SZU.jpg


Kreuzlingen avoiding line: Kreuzlingen Hafen - Konstanz

[820, 830] (ERA-E 69B5; ERA-R 138A4; S+W 6B2) CH21/21

This east to north curve is used by an hourly RE service between Herisau and Konstanz.

Romanshorn avoiding line: Egnach (Romanshorn Stw. I) - Amriswil

[840, 845] (ERA-E 69B3; ERA-R 138B3; S+W 6D3) CH21/22

This curve enables trains to run between Rorschach and Winterthur without reversal at Romanshorn.

There is no booked service but this route is often used for diversions when the Buchs SG - Feldkirch line is closed for engineering works. This has occurred in late April and early May, and applied to the following trains (current train numbers shown for trains at times diverted in previous years):

RJX162 Wien HBf - 15:48 Feldkirch - St.Margrethen (special stop) - Zurich HB
EN40462 Budapest keleti pu. - 06:40 Feldkirch (for alighting only) - St.Margrethen (special stop) - Zürich HB (also ran via the Bregenz avoiding line in Austria)
EN40467 21:40 Zürich HB - Budapest keleti pu. (also ran via the Bregenz avoiding line in Austria)

The curve can also be done when VHMthB are running their Uferdampffahrten Romanshorn-Rorschach and return. The trains use bay platform 1 at Romanshorn and, to avoid propelling out of the station to run round and propelling in again, the train from Rorschach takes the avoiding line and then propels into Romanshorn station.

There are generally three round trips on operating days. Further details can be found on their website.

Sargans — Trübbach

[880, 900] (ERA-E 69B2; ERA-R 144B4-144B5; S+W 25C2) CH21/23

There are two routes between the Buchs SG line at Trübbach and Sargans - a loop to the west of Sargans station which faces east, and a loop to the east which faces west.

Through trains between the Ziegelbrücke and Buchs SG lines use the eastern loop to avoid reversal at Sargans. These are the two-hourly EC/RJX trains between Zürich HB and Innsbruck and beyond, and the hourly S4 services which run between Buchs SG and Ziegelbrücke as part of their circular route via Uznach (reverse) and St Gallen.

The hourly IR13 services between Zürich and Chur via Buchs SG use the western loop.

Klosters (Sasslatsch Nord) — Susch (Sasslatsch II) (Rhätische Bahn)

[910] (ERA-E 73B3; ERA-R 145B4; S+W 27A3-C4) CH21/24

This is the south-west curve out of the Vereina Tunnel, on which services commenced 28 May 2000. Note that the north point of the triangle, at Sasslatsch Nord, is inside the tunnel. It is used by a roughly two-hourly service between St Moritz and Landquart. Extra trains operate to/from Klosters Platz at weekends. All these trains are shown in the timetable as not stopping between Susch and Klosters Platz.

Sursee — Triengen (Sursee-Triengen Bahn)

(ERA-E 68A2-A3; ERA-R 136B1; S+W 11A4) CH21/25

This private railway has no regular passenger trains but special public services are provided on various dates, in conjunction with Dampfbahnverein Surental (DVS), including the traditional fourth Sunday in September.

Gotthard Basistunnel: Altdorf (Rynächt) — Castione-Arbedo (Giustizia)

[600] (ERA-E 68C1-78A3; ERA-R 143A3-149C4; S+W 23A4-48C3) CH21/26

The new tunnel is used by regular trains with no booked stop between Arth-Goldau or Fluelen and Biasca or Bellinzona. The level of traffic via the new tunnel is such that additional trains may use the old route, even if with no booked stops, but with a significantly longer journey time.

Biasca: Pollegio Nord Connection

[600] (ERA-E 73A3; ERA-R 149C5; S+W 48C3) CH21/27

With the realignment of the old Gotthard line at Pollegio, north of Biasca, to run alongside the Gotthard Basistunnel route, the 600m-long former connection between the two routes is now used by all trains on the old Gotthard route. The connection between the two routes is now only around 100m long. It is probably used by the following IC services which call at Biasca.

IC893 Zürich HB – 23:49 Arth-Goldau – Bellinzona
IC862 Bellinzona – 5:21 Biasca – Zürich HB

Ceneri Basistunnel: Giubiasco/S. Antonino (Biv. Vigana) - Lugano (Biv. Vezia)

[600, 631, 632] (ERA-E 73A2; ERA-R 149C3-149B2; S+W 59D1-D3) CH21/28

The 15.4km Ceneri Base Tunnel between Giubiasco and Lugano opened to regular passenger services on 13 December 2020. A west to south curve (Biv. Vigana - Biv. Camorino) links the Locarno line with the north end of the tunnel.

The tunnel is used by EC services between Zürich and Milano or Bologna, and IC services between Zürich/Basel and Lugano, which all run non-stop between Bellinzona and Lugano. It is also used by RE10 trains between Castione-Arbedo and Chiasso, which do not stop between Giubiasco and Lugano. Local S10 services call at intermediate stations and so use the old route via Monte Ceneri tunnel.

An hourly RE80 service runs between Locarno and Lugano via the west to south curve and the base tunnel.

Capolago Lago — Capolago Riva San Vitale (Ferrovia Monte Generoso)

[636] (ERA-E 73A1; ERA-R 149C2; S+W 59D4) CH21/29

This 250 metre extension northwards from the normal terminus, adjoining Capolago-Riva San Vitale FFS station, is used to connect with the seasonal calls of vessels of Società Navigazione del Lago di Lugano. Vessel calls and trains are subject to suspension during rough weather or in times of poor visibility.

D 15 11:20 Capolago Lago - Generoso Vetta
D 12 Generoso Vetta - 10:55 Capolago-Riva S. Vitale - Capolago Lago

Eppenberg Tunnel

[650] (ERA-E 68A3; ERA-R 136B2; S+W 16B) CH21/30

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Eppenburg Tunnel.jpg


The opening of the 3114 metre-long Eppenberg tunnel in October 2020 created a four track section of railway between Olten and Aarau. In the middle section the original route via Schönenwerd is a considerable distance away from the Eppenberg tunnel which is effectively a separate route. The old line via Schönenwerd is used by local trains calling at Schönenwerd and trains to Biel/Bienne and Basel. The Eppenberg tunnel is used by trains to Bern and Luzern.

Trams

See Switzerland - Tram services over obscure routes

Other sparse services

The following lines have few trains (relative to service levels generally in this country) — fewer than five trains each way on at least three days a week.

221 Travers – Pontarlier (France)

The following lines do not have service throughout the winter:

314 Wilderswil – Schynige Platte
473 Alpnachstadt – Pilatus Kulm
476 Planalp - Brienzer Rothorn
636 Capolago – Generoso Vetta
- Riffelalp (GGB) - Riffelalp Hotel (Riffelalp Tram)

Deletions since previous edition

See also