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Transport ministers’ meeting New Swiss-Austrian rail and road connections planned

Doris Leuthard and Norbert Hofer shake hands in Vienna

Swiss Transport Minister Doris Leuthard met with Norbert Hofer, Austria's Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology, in Vienna on Wednesday.

(Keystone)

Discussions at a Wednesday meeting in Vienna between Swiss Transport Minister Doris Leuthard and her Austrian counterpart, Norbert Hofer, included plans for cross-border rail and road development.

The main focus of the meeting on transport policy between the two countries was to optimise rail traffic, according to a Swiss Transport Ministry press releaseexternal link (in French).

The development of rail services between eastern Switzerland, Bregenz, Austria and Lindau, Germany is currently being studied, with the goal of introducing a train route connecting the regions. This would complement the current Eurocity service between Zurich, Bregenz, and Munich. From 2021, it should be possible to benefit from hourly, cross-border service without changing trains.

As for road traffic, the discussions focused on plans for a new rapid route between Austria and Switzerland. This route should take some of the pressure off local roads, and reduce the waiting times at border crossings.

On the Swiss side, it will be necessary to create a new bridge over the Rhine river at St Margrethen in canton St Gallen, as well as a common customs station. The details concerning the rapid route should be settled soon within the framework of a treaty, the transport ministry said.

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Map of Swiss-Austrian border region

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