Expansion of services and infrastructure
The ZEB programme focuses primarily on increasing the capacity and efficiency of the railway network and on strengthening the importance of the hubs. The aim is to relieve congestion caused by the growing volume of traffic. Under the programme services will be improved in numerous regions of Switzerland, and rail infrastructure will be expanded to ensure optimum use of the major NRLA and Zurich cross-city link projects.
The ZEB programme will bring the following improvements in services:
- The use of 400 metre-long double-decker trains on the west-east axis between Geneva and St Gallen via Bern and on the Geneva-Brig route in Valais.
- The increased capacity of freight transport on the Gotthard route between Basel/Limmattal marshalling yard and Bellinzona by 40 train paths, to 260 per day.
- More frequent long-distance services on the Lausanne–Bern, Zurich–St Gallen and Zurich–Ticino routes as well as on the Bern–Zurich line at peak times.
- Better regional transport services in the agglomerations of Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Olten/Aarau, Zurich, Ticino and St Gallen/Thurgau, requiring numerous expansion projects.
- Better overall stability of passenger and freight transport as well as greater reliability of supply of the rail power network.
Improving services under the ZEB programme requires a range of updates to existing rail infrastructure. Around 100 major and minor projects are planned throughout the various regions of Switzerland.
In addition to the funding of the specific infrastructure projects mentioned above, the ZEB programme has also set aside funds not bound to individual projects. These will be used to implement measures to reduce noise, upgrade storage sidings or ensure power supply.
The network diagrams for the ES2035 service concept serve as the technical basis for implementing the expansion steps including the ZEB programme. The infrastructure measures under the ZEB programme were taken into consideration and examined while planning the latest step – the 2035 Expansion Step – ensuring upward compatibility with a view to services and additional traffic.