Rail 2000: Infrastructure Modernization in the Light of the National Transport Policy

Special Report: Forming Networks in Switzerland
By Mario Keller, Roman Frick, Fritz Sager


Rail 2000 is the most comprehensive single extension and modernization project for railway infrastructure in recent Swiss history. The present article discusses the first stage of Rail 2000 (B21) in terms of both its effects and the question of how these fit into Swiss federal transport policy. The empirical basis of the study is the global evaluation of B21. The analyses show that the project has broadly achieved its overall goals of more frequent, more rapid, more direct, and more comfortable routes. We have also seen positive effects regarding shifts on the demand side and a good level of cost-effectiveness. Correspondingly, the project fits well into the overall goal of Swiss transport policy, which is to improve the standard of public transport on offer. B21 also corresponds to the overall federal transport policy goals regarding modal split, coordination of land-use and transport, and compatibility with EU policy. However, the coherence analysis also shows that some questions remain open for the future. These relate mainly to three points : first, the demand for equal regional access has still to be met ; second, the separation between long distance transport and regional transport is likely to cause capacity deficiencies in the near future if transport volume continues to increase ; third, the findings raise the question of whether a further increase in railway traffic volume as a result of better offers (planned in the second phase of Rail 2000) is in fact a desirable development for the future.

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