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Swiss trains carry record number of passengers

More people than ever are travelling by train. Keystone

More than a million people per day used the Swiss Federal Railways in 2013, setting a new record. It was the first time daily passenger numbers reached seven figures, with 1,002,000 people climbing onboard trains, up 3.7%.

The number of passenger kilometres was up 1.3% on the previous year, reaching 17.8 billion the company announced on Tuesday. The company attributed the increase to greater demand during rush hour, which had been met by providing more trains.

Railways head Andreas Meyer told a media conference that punctuality dropped slightly to 87.5%. Many of the delays occurred in the suburban network of the greater Zurich area during the summer.

The reasons were the major expansion underway at Zurich central station, the automation of signal boxes and unplanned maintenance work. However, the railways stressed that internationally, Switzerland comes out best for punctuality and has done so for many years.

For the first time in over 40 years the freight division made a profit, CHF14.7 million ($16.6 million).

However, the profits of the company as a whole fell over 40% to CHF238.2 million ($270 million), mainly because of an increase in the price paid for using the track and extra costs for infrastructure maintenance.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR