Using the tunnels to get away

A trip out by train
A trip out by train

The rail link through the Alps proves very popular with holidaymakers. In 1958 the SBB runs an advert featuring a family in holiday mood in one of the new TEE diesel trains plying the route between Zurich and the Benelux countries. (1958, SBB Historic)

Rail travellers use the train to get to work or in their leisure time, alone or in groups; those wishing to avoid the crowds travel first class rather than second (until 1956 there is also a third class). In 2007 the Confederation carries out another analysis of traffic through the Alps. The results show that 77% of passengers on the Gotthard line and 82% on the Lötschberg line are travelling in their free time - a high proportion compared with average Swiss passenger traffic. On the Gotthard line just 6% are commuters and a mere 4% are on a shopping trip. This could change with the base tunnels: a survey at the Lötschberg in 2011 shows the proportion of commuters has risen from 4% to 9%, with the total number of those travelling for work up from 13% to 22%.

« Good passenger information is essential to successful self-rescue. »

Pieter Zeilstra, FOT communication, 26.04.2007

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