Our topics

Long-distance transport

In August 2019, BLS and SBB signed an Operating Agreement for sharing long-distance traffic. According to this agreement, as before SBB retains the integral licence for long-distance traffic, but relinquishes some lines to BLS for commercial operation. BLS holds full responsibility for its long-distance lines with regard to revenue, quality and costs and will operate with its own trains and train drivers.

Which long-distance lines is BLS operating?

  • InterRegio (IR 56) Biel/Bienne–Delémont–Basel SBB (From December 2025)
  • InterRegio (IR 65) Bern – Biel/Bienne (since December 2019)
  • InterRegio (IR 17) Bern – Olten (since December 2020)
  • InterRegio (IR 66) Bern – Neuchâtel – La Chaux-de-Fonds (regional traffic up to December 2020, but long-distance traffic thereafter)

Which trains does BLS use for its long-distance lines?

BLS has purchased eight new MUTZ trains from Stadler for the lines to Olten and Biel. Six of them are 150 metres long and are about one-half longer than the usual MUTZ trains. Passengers have been travelling in new MIKA trains since June 2021 on the line to Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds. BLS is procuring seven additional MIKA trains for the Biel/Bienne-Delémont-Basel SBB line.

We take responsibility

Public transport in Switzerland is expanding. BLS wishes to contribute to managing this growth, so that costs for the public sector do not increase in tandem. To do so, however, BLS must generate profit, which in the realm of passenger transport is only possible on long-distance lines.Profits allow BLS to make investments and develop new services – this is the only way to offer expanded rail travel at the same price.

We are lowering regional traffic Costs

With long-distance lines optimally integrated into our network, we can operate our regional traffic services more cost-effectively.This is because, thanks to various synergies, we can utilise our trains and personnel more efficiently and therefore save costs. In addition, we are able to spread our fixed costs across more train kilometres.

We encourage a competition of ideas

Allowing different rail operators to apply for individual lines serves as an incentive for all of them to submit the best possible tender and to stand out from the competition in terms of service and quality.Public transport in Switzerland is based on the fact that different transport companies can inspire one another, thanks to their innovational strengths and pioneering spirit. With this Operating Agreement, the first step has now been taken in long-distance trafficregional to further develop the multi-rail model. Further steps must follow, so that public transport can deal with future challenges.

BLS long-distance traffic Ltd

In December 2019, BLS founded a subsidiary to take care of the BLS’s long-distance operations.

BLS Ltd is the sole shareholder of BLS long-distance traffic Ltd.

About us
BLS Hauptsitz Bern
Who we are
The company
Our topics

Background information on current topics.

Download PDF
0 of 0 Media files