Construction work on Swiss railway. Photo: SBB

Several railway closures in Switzerland this summer

Construction work on Swiss railway. Photo: SBB

SBB will carry out extensive construction work during the summer months. This will affect freight traffic on several trajectories, the Swiss railway company announced. Several track sections will be completely or partially blocked from 30 June to 26 August 2018.

In this period of almost two months, SBB will carry out works at more than thirty major construction sites throughout the country. It has chosen the summer holidays for its activities, as traffic volumes are relatively lower in this period, enabling the railway company to build more efficiently. “SBB can, during a complete blockage of a section of track, concentrate the track-laying machines without interruption and complete the work in a shorter time. As a result, customers and residents are less affected by schedule changes and noise. In addition, the work can be realised up to thirty per cent cheaper”, SBB said.

The following disruptions will have the largest impact on freight traffic:


The largest construction site this summer lies in the western part of Switzerland. The Lausanne-Puidoux section on the Lausanne-Bern route will be completely closed from 7 July to 26 August. SBB will renew the carriageway and twelve points on the route, rehabilitate the tunnels and build new track drainage systems. The closure will have a major impact on freight traffic. Trains will be diverted via Yverdon, taking up to twenty minutes more travel time. All diversion concepts are agreed with the customers, SBB said.


The Basel-Olten line will be only partially available from 30 June to 13 August. SBB will renew the carriageway between Gelterkinden and Tecknau over a length of 4.3 kilometres and build new track drainage systems. During these works only a single track will remain open for traffic. This has a major impact on freight transport running between Basel and Domodossola; block trains and all wagonload traffic (express and rail) are severely restricted, said SBB. “We are currently working on creating diversion and timetable concepts with our customers.”

Zurich-St. Gallen

The Zurich-St. Gallen line will be partially closed from 7 July to 13 August; only one of the two lanes will be available for traffic. SBB will renew the other lane over a length of six kilometres and adjusts the distances between the signals, enabling trains to drive in two-by-three-minute intervals in succession.

Other disruptions

Apart from the closures during the summer holidays, there are projects partially taking place in this period, starting earlier or lasting longer. SBB names the following disruptions:

  • complete closure of Thayngen-Singen line from 19 May to 2 June
  • limited capacity on the Zurich Vorbahnhof-Wiedikon line, causing a possible delay of 1.5 hours in the delivery of goods for a total of twelve days from 16 June to 27 July
  • sporadic interruption of traffic at the construction site in Winterthur from 22 May to 31 August
Tags: ,

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.