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Better train service to Italy promised

The Cisalpino rail company, which operates the routes between Switzerland and Italy, plans to improve its service with 14 new trains, it announced on Thursday.

Half of the new high-speed Pendolino tilting trains will be introduced when the timetable changes in December and the rest by the middle of 2009.

They will offer increased comfort and cut travel time – shaving up to 45 minutes off journeys between the Swiss cities of Zurich, Geneva and Basel and the Italian city of Milan, Cisalpino head Alain Barbey told journalists.

Passengers will be able to borrow DVDs (with player) and the restaurant service will be extended.

The trains will be tested with and without passengers before being accepted, Barbey said.

The first generation of Pendolinos, in operation since 1997, have gained a reputation for unreliability, suffering a number of delays and breakdowns. Furthermore, many passengers have complained of nausea when the trains tilt. This problem has been addressed.

The new Pendolinos will gradually replace the conventional rolling stock. The original Pendolinos will be given a thorough service from 2009 onwards.

Last year Cisalpino, a daughter enterprise of Swiss Federal Railways and the Italian Trenitalia company, carried 12.34 million passengers, 6.9 per cent more than in 2006.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR