Swiss trains are renowned for being on time, but whether your local train is typically on time or not depends on where you live and the service.
Each day, 1.25 million passengers travel on the densest rail network in Europe.
Figures from Swiss Rail say that 89% of its customers1 arrive on time – a delay of less than 3 minutes, the strictest measure in Europe, according to Swiss Rail. However this figure that won’t fit the experience of some rail users.
To provide a more granular view of train tardiness, Bern-based IT consultant Andreas Gutweniger has pulled together information on Swiss train delays and presented them on a map on the website puenktlichkeit.ch.
The website allows you to mouseover a train route to reveal the percentage of time trains are on time.
Delay hotspots for local trains are Ticino, the region north of Lausanne, the region north of Olten and the region at the western end of Lake Constance.
An extreme example shows how bad some lines are. Only 9.2% of Intercity and Eurocity trains travelling between Sion and Montreux were on time over the last 365 days. This train has been late 100% of the time on 38 of the last 50 days according to the website. Many of the trains on this route start their journey in Milan. Speaking to a Swiss Rail staff member on this line, Le News was told that these trains often arrive late from Italy. This phenomenon of Swiss trains inheriting delays from neighbouring is echoed across Switzerland. Most trains entering Switzerland from abroad are likely to be late. A further punctuality challenge occurs when these late trains enter busy network bottlenecks.
At the other end of the spectrum are lines like the one between Zurich Airport and Zurich Oerlikon. Over 28 of the last 50 days, 100% of these trains were on time. On the worst two days 82.4% of trains were on time.