The Swiss Federal Railways has opened a state-of-the-art washing tunnel in Brig, canton Valais, just for trains. The facility, the most modern in the country, is 90 metres long, fully automatic and will allow the washing of about 3,600 trains per year. A third of the water used - 12.5 million litres per year - can be recycled.
"Customers are not only concerned about safety or punctuality, but how clean the trains are”, Federal Railways spokesman, Stephan Wehrle, told Swiss Public Television, RTS. The CHF10 million investment in the tunnel is part of a total budget of CHF46 million that the Federal Railways will invest in external train washing facilities by 2023.
This new addition brings the total of train washing facilities to ten. Every 15 minutes of every day, a train arrives at one of the ten outdoor installations in Basel, Zurich, Lucerne, Geneva, Oberwinterthur, Rorschach, Bellinzona, Brig or Biel. The facilities in Zurich and Geneva are due to be updated so that they use less energy. The improvements will cost CHF11 million.
In squeaky-clean Switzerland, people expect high ecological standards inside the trains as well. It’s estimated that train toilets here are flushed 135,000 times a day. They’re equipped with bioreactors, or mobile treatment plants. The toilets are serviced during the day by small teams based in the main terminal stations.