Standing room only: SBB warns of disruption to five Zurich rail services

Standing room only: SBB warns of disruption to five Zurich rail services

Due to a technical problem with some of its trains, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has warned of disruption to public transport services in and around Zurich. While no trains are expected to be cancelled, the firm warned that there may be standing room only on five daily services.

Technical fault leads to public transport cuts in Zurich

In a statement, SBB confirmed that five services in the ZVV Zurich public transport region will be disrupted for the foreseeable future. This was blamed on the SBB discovering that there was too much water in the transformer fluid of some of its S-Bahn and Interregional trains. As a result of the find, every train of its type will have to be inspected and repaired - the company estimated that they will be missing one in every 80 trains by mid-2024.

While no services are set to be cancelled, SBB warned that they will not be able to attach as many train carriages to certain connections. “Cuts to certain trains are unavoidable: in some cases, there are two vehicles coupled together instead of three or different types of vehicles than usual, which is why fewer seats [will be] available,” the company wrote.

Five Zurich train services likely to be standing room only

First, the company has warned that the 6.37am S14 from Hinwil to Affoltern am Albis, and the 5.12pm return journey will use smaller trains than usual. “In the morning, travellers must expect standing room between Schwerzenbach and Zurich Oerlikon, and in the evening between Zurich HB and Dübendorf,” SBB wrote.

Smaller trains will also be used on the 7.34am S20 service between Uerikon and Schaffhausen. Finally, and arguably most significantly, Regional Express trains between Zurich HB and Schaffhausen will be impacted by the cuts. SBB has warned of standing room only on the 4.05pm service from Zurich and the 5.17pm train from Schaffhausen.

All travellers who would like a seat are encouraged to avoid these trains. So far, SBB has not confirmed when services would return to normal but assured that it was “doing everything it can to reduce the impact on customers to a minimum.”

Thumb image credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs /

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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