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New rail schedule comes into effect

The transition to a new passenger train schedule went off without any problems, the Swiss Federal Railways said on Sunday.

The changes, which came into effect at 3:00am on Sunday, will be tested when commuter traffic begins on Monday, officials said.

People travelling from the capital Bern to Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, now have the option of boarding a train that departs at 4:14pm. A non-stop journey between the cities takes 56 minutes.

There will also be an additional train between Bern and the town of Spiez, in the Bernese Oberland, departing Bern at 6:31pm.

The schedule brings an early morning InterCity train departing Graubünden, in Switzerland’s east, to Zurich at 5:06am. The InterRegional Lucerne-Lausanne line now extends to Geneva airport and the Lausanne-Geneva route has an additional RegioExpress train departing Lausanne at 6:23pm.

Federal Railways said there would be five high-speed TGV trains running between Paris and Zurich and four in the opposite directions. There are five TGV trains in each direction on the Basel-Paris line.

The travel time for the Zurich-Salzburg-Vienna line has been reduced.

The punctuality record for the government-owned Federal Railways increased by around two per cent last year, the group said. About 90 per cent of its trains operated with a delay of three minutes or less.

In the case of a delay greater than one hour, passengers can request a 25 per cent refund of their fare. The discount rises to 50 per cent if a train is delayed more than two hours. and agencies


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