Federal Railways strikes partnership deal with Berne operator

A BLS train pulls into Brig: the company has handed Brig route over to the Federal Railways Keystone

The Federal Railways is to take a 34 per cent stake in the Berne-Lötschberg Railway (BLS), in a deal announced on Thursday. The deal is the result of long and often acrimonious negotiations between the two operators.

This content was published on August 17, 2000

Under the agreement, the BLS will cede control of all long-distance rail routes originating in Berne. In exchange, it wins the right to operate all local trains in the Berne area.

Explaining the details of the deal to swissinfo, Christian Kräuchi, spokesman for the Federal Railways, said the "Federal Railways would take over the long distance traffic operated by BLS. That means trains that run to Interlaken and to Brig will be operated by the Federal Railways. BLS will take over responsibility for the 'S-Bahn' traffic - the fast local service for Berne."

The motivation behind the agreement was to prevent doubling up. The Federal Railways, which is owned by the Swiss government, says rationalising of services will lighten the burden on the public purse and lead to more efficient services.

The deal does not mean an end to competition between the two operators. It only relates to passenger services, meaning the two operators will still compete over goods freight.


In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.