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Train travel App users get up to CHF100 for railway delays

train tracks in wine country

One of the biggest Swiss railway projects this summer: new rails being installed in the Lavaux wine region near Lake Geneva


Major construction work is causing serious delays on top of the reduced summer schedule of the Swiss Federal Railways. Some passengers are eligible for goodwill gift certificates – if they download a smartphone app that tracks their movements. 

Thirty construction projects are underway on Swiss railroads, three of them major: in Lausanne, St Gallen and Gelterkinden in northern Switzerland. 

On Monday, the federal railways announced that while the construction work was going to plan, there had been some changes regarding staff schedules and long-haul trains.

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This is the first time that such major work has been scheduled for the summer holiday period – to coincide with commuters’ and students’ vacations. For those still affected by the delays on the Lausanne–Puidoux-Chexbres stretch, the federal railways has created a system to reward delayed passengersexternal link. Travellers delayed by at least 20 minutes on ten days get a one-time railways gift certificate worth CHF100 ($101). 

However, first they need to download a smartphone app that tracks their travel time. Public transport lobby group Pro Bahn Switzerlandexternal link says the system is flawed because it fails to cater to every passenger inconvenienced by the longer travel times. As Pro Bahn President Karin Blätter told Swiss public television, SRFexternal link, on Monday, discounted tickets for everyone on the routes affected over the two-month period would be a better solution. 

The construction work will conclude at the end of August, in time for the back-to-school season.


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