The 10 most delayed trains in Switzerland in 2022 revealed
With 93,7 percent of Swiss trains running on time in 2022, you might expect all public transport in Switzerland to run like the clocks the country is famous for. Unfortunately, while this is mostly the case, there are some services that are chronically late, as this latest study by CH Media shows.
Delays in Germany and Italy have knock-on effects on Swiss rail
CH Media found that of the 10 trains that were most frequently delayed in Switzerland last year, the majority start their routes in Italian and German cities. In particular, the record-breaking delays at Deutsche Bahn (DB) in 2022 were blamed for the most severe disruption.
While EC196 was the least punctual train during the last timetable period, the most delayed in 2022 as a whole was another German long-distance train: the 2.39pm RE7 service from Karlsruhe to Basel. Of the 317 services that ran in 2022, 269 or 84,9 percent of them were delayed for an average of 11,3 minutes.
The aforementioned 8.55am EuroCity service from Munich to Zurich claimed second place with 84,2 percent. Of the 10 most delayed services in Switzerland, four were provided by Deutsche Bahn, four by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and two by the Rhaetian Railway (RhB).
Deutsche Bahn promises action to curb excessive delays
Speaking to Watson, a spokesperson for Deutsche Bahn explained that RE7’s route takes it along the Rhine Valley Railway, which is one of the busiest rail lines in all of Europe. While a variety of factors are to blame for the delays, the spokesperson said the main issue is a lack of capacity, which they hope to solve by adding two new tracks to the line.
The longest average delay, with the exception of night train services, was another EuroCity service from Munich to Zurich. The train, which arrives in Zurich at 6.27pm, was 22,5 minutes late on average in 2022. Deutsche Bahn has blamed these delays on the single-track line that the train uses, which can cause major disruption if the train arrives in St. Gallen late.
Swiss rail association calls for timetable to compensate for Deutsche Bahn delays
Responding to Watson, an SBB spokesperson said that they cannot do much to solve the problems in Germany. "The infrastructure in Germany with a long single-track line and train crossings in the Allgäu makes operations very demanding," they noted.
This was not an opinion shared by the Swiss Railvolution association, with Secretary General Tobias Imobersteg telling the newspaper that German rail delays should be incorporated into the Swiss timetable so that they aren’t as disruptive. As the Swiss government knows that these services will likely be delayed the “Federal Office of Transport should have designed the timetable differently,” he concluded.
Bernina Express one of the most delayed trains in Switzerland
Interestingly, the only rail service on the most delayed list that doesn’t visit Germany is also one of the most well-known. In fourth place with 83,5 percent delays is the evening PE 955 service from RhB, also known as the Bernina Express - one of the most photographed rail routes in the world, along with the Glacier Express.
According to a spokesperson from RhB, the “most spectacular crossing of the Alps” is frequently delayed because it uses a single-track line that is already at 100 percent capacity. Yvonne Dünser explained that the most common delays are in Poschiavo, as up to 100 bikes have to be loaded onto the train at one time.
Most delayed trains in Switzerland in 2022
In all, here are the most frequently delayed services in Switzerland in 2022.
|Rank||Route||Service provider||Time of departure||Percentage of services delayed|
|1||(RE 7) Karlsruhe - Basel Bad||DB||2.39pm||84,9|
|2||(EC 196) Munich - Zurich||SBB||8.55am||84,2|
|3||(PE 955) Chur - Tirano||RhB||1.34pm||83,5|
|4||(EC 190) Munich - Zurich||SBB||2.55pm||81,6|
|5||(RE 7) Karlsruhe - Basel Bad||DB||4.39pm||79,2|
|6||(EC 96) Munich - Zurich||SBB||6.52pm||79,1|
|7||(RE 7) Karlsruhe - Basel Bad||DB||12.39pm||77,6|
|8||(PE 955) St. Moritz - Tirano||RhB||1.17pm||76,4|
|9||(RE 7) Karlsruhe - Basel Bad||DB||6.38pm||76|
|10||(EC 196) Munich - Zurich||SBB||8.55am||75,3|
For more information, check out the official study (in German).