SBB to cut Deutsche Bahn services because they are delayed too often

SBB to cut Deutsche Bahn services because they are delayed too often

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has announced that ICE services between German cities and Chur will be cut from December 11. The public transport provider has cited Deutsche Bahn’s poor punctuality record as the main reason for the change.

German trains are rarely on time when they arrive in Switzerland

According to reporting by Tagblatt in St. Gallen, Deutsche Bahn (DB) trains are very rarely on time when they arrive in Switzerland. The latest data from DB found that 20 percent of trains to Switzerland were more than 15 minutes late, while 40 percent had a delay of more than five minutes. This poses a particular problem when ICE trains go beyond large Swiss cities and onto the smaller lines in the mountains, as their delays have a knock-on effect on Swiss trains.

As a result, from December 11, several rail connections between German cities like Stuttgart and Chur will be cut or shortened, meaning anyone wanting to travel to Chur from Germany must change train somewhere in Switzerland. For example, the ICE 75 from Hamburg to Chur will now terminate in Zurich and the ICE 72 will terminate at Basel instead of the city in the Swiss mountains. ICE extensions to Chur for 2023, announced by DB earlier in October, will not be implemented.

Multiple connections to the Swiss mountains may hurt passenger numbers

SBB confirmed that onward connections from these trains will be possible within minutes, but it will mean an additional connection for those on the way to Swiss ski resorts. 20 minuten noted that the change may adversely affect resorts around Chur, as a study by the Swiss Public Transport Association found that customer numbers drop by 20 percent on routes when a train change is added.

"The punctuality of the ICE trains from Germany has fallen sharply for a few months," noted Thomas Schmid from the Office for Energy and Transport of Canton Graubünden. This was echoed by SBB spokesperson Sabrina Schellenberg, who told Tagblatt that "the reason for the cut is that the situation with regard to punctuality has not improved since the first measures were implemented this summer."

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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