Recently published figures show rail passenger numbers dropped by more than a third during the first half of 2020.
During this period an average of 810,000 passengers a day traveled on the network, a number more than a third less than during the first half of 2019 when there was 1.29 million. The number of passenger kilometres was also down 38.4%, said the company.
Lower ticket revenues combined with a largely fixed cost base led to a loss of CHF 479 million for the first half of the year. During the first half of 2019 Swiss Rail made a profit of CHF 279 million.
Since April 2020, Swiss Rail has taken measures to cut costs and has managed to save CHF 250 million. Recruitment of administrative staff has been frozen and investments in IT, innovation and energy projects have been pushed out into the future.
Passenger numbers have been rising since June 2020, a trend set to continue, according to the company.
Currently, rail networks are running at more normal levels. Occupation rates on main trunk lines are 70% and 80% on regional lines.
The company’s balance sheet remains strong. However, the federal government has provided a CHF 550 million short term loan to ensure the company does not run into liquidity problems.