More direct trains and night service to Leipzig: New SBB timetable explained

More direct trains and night service to Leipzig: New SBB timetable explained

From December 11, 2022, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will move to their new timetable. As part of the revised schedule, more direct routes between Swiss cities and tourist regions are planned, along with a new night train service from Switzerland to Leipzig and Dresden. Here’s what you need to know:

New SBB timetable to begin on December 11, 2022

In a statement, SBB predicted that significantly more people in Switzerland will choose to take the train in the coming months, as it is a “climate-friendly” and “congestion-free” alternative to driving. Despite taking significant losses during the COVID pandemic, the latest data shows that passenger numbers on Swiss trains have returned to pre-pandemic levels, which has allowed SBB to expand its services.

The company said that it will be “expanding its offering regionally, nationally and internationally.” Of particular focus in the latest timetable is a new series of direct trains that will take visitors and locals from the major cities to tourist destinations in the mountains like Swiss ski resorts and areas of Canton Ticino.

New direct rail services between Swiss cities and mountains

In terms of national rail, the company announced that there will be new direct connections between Romanshorn and Interlaken, which will run every two hours as the IC81. The service is designed to better connect the mountain resorts of Canton Bern with the rest of the country, with the train stopping in Zurich, Zurich Airport, Winterthur and Romanshorn. 

Basel and Olten will also be getting an additional train service between the two cities and Canton Valais. However, SBB said that while regular services between Zurich and Valais and Basel and Interlaken will still run, passengers may have to change in Bern to continue their journey.

New connections between Geneva and Chur

What’s more, SBB has announced that more trains will run to Chur, with the IC3 service from Zurich to the city now running every half-hour on weekends. Authorities hope the service will help tourists get to the resorts of Davos, Arosa and St. Moritz much faster. In addition, two new Intercity trains will run between Geneva and Chur via Lausanne and Bern - the first direct connection between the Romande and Graubünden.

Connections have also been added between Zurich and Ticino, with two new trains between Chiasso and Zurich every morning. The number of direct trains between the two cities is also expected to be expanded during the summer. However, the IC2 early service between Bellinzona and Zurich will be cancelled due to low demand.

New night trains from Switzerland to Leipzig planned from December 2022

Internationally, SBB said it will be “introducing more connections and additional seats for climate-friendly trips abroad.” Most notably, SBB will offer a new night train from Zurich to Leipzig and Dresden, which will also allow for onward connections to Berlin. Basel will also be getting a new service to the two cities.

The number of seats on services between Swiss cities and Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna and Graz will be expanded and the ICE line between Basel and Cologne will be extended to Hamburg to allow for direct connections to Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen, Münster and Bremen. Four new direct trains between Zurich and Stuttgart will also be added by October 2023 - although these will be run by German long-distance transport.

However, there will be some reductions in service, particularly on trains from Deutsche Bahn (DB). Direct ICE services between Chur and German cities will be cut because, according to local authorities, DB trains are rarely on time. To get to Chur, passengers from Germany will have to switch in Zurich or Basel.

Expansion of local S-Bahn services announced in Switzerland

Finally, along with announcing a new flexible public transport ticket for Switzerland, SBB has announced a number of changes to local services in Swiss cities. These are:

  • Zurich: More S12,14,15,16, 6 and 9 trains in the early morning, and more S11 services in the evening. Also, instead of stopping at Effretikon in the evenings, S8s will now always end in Winterthur.
  • Solothurn: New S20 evening service between Solothurn and Biel / Bienne.
  • Glarnerland: The S25 will now arrive at a new time, so that passengers can connect to the S4 in the direction of Sargans.
  • Schaffhausen: SBB will replace Deutsche Bahn in running trains between Schaffhausen and Singen, Baden-Württemberg.

For more information about the imminent timetable changes, check out the SBB press release.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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