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BLS is modernising the passenger information systems on NINA and Lötschberger trains

BLS has a fleet of 131 trains with different types of passenger information systems (PIS). Thanks to the PIS Refit modernisation project, we will be able to equip approximately 70 per cent of our trains with a modern and standardised passenger information system by the end of 2019. In future, more extensive and up-to-date information will be displayed to passengers in our NINA and Lötschberger trains, as is already the case in our MUTZ double-decker trains.

Project details

The PIS Refit project is modernising the passenger information system (PIS) in the existing fleet of RABe525 (36 NINA) and RABe535 (25 Lötschberger) trains.

PIS Refit involves the use of state-of-the-art interior display screens (TFT) and self-illuminated external displays (LED). In a new development, we can now transmit data from BLS's central passenger information system to trains via the mobile phone network. Our customers will therefore benefit in future from more extensive and up-to-date information on timetables, as well as announcements regarding connections, delays and incidents or work that can affect schedules.

As part of the PIS Refit project, each of the 25 Lötschberger trains will also be equipped with ten advertising screens that will be operated by the “passengertv” advertising agency.

Overview of the technical scope of the refit

  • 22“ screens in the boarding platform area in NINA trains (1 screen per platform):
    The additional 22“ screens that supplement the single-line overhead internal displays in the passenger compartments show train routes, connections at each station, delays and special announcements, among other things.
  • 22“ screens in Lötschberger trains (13 per train):
    The 22“ screens replace the existing screens, which are not network-compatible.
  • 22“ advertising screens for infotainment in Lötschberger trains (10 per train):
    The 22“ advertising screens will be used to show news and ads.
  • New network-compatible displays (front, side and internal displays):
    State-of-the-art LED output devices offer optimal contrast.
  • New PIS terminals with touchscreens in driver's cabs:
    Standardised operator console for NINA, Lötschberger and MUTZ trains.
  • Train line modems:
    These ensure more reliable communication (as is already the case in MUTZ trains) between train units across couplings (for multiple-unit train control).
  • RVAP (rail vehicle applications) system (Ethernet):
    Ensures communication between rail vehicle components.
  • New computer with RVITS and PIS software:
    Current computers (servers) do not have the computing power needed to meet the requirements of a modern PIS.
  • Mobile router:
    Ensures communication between the control centre and trains via an over-the-air interface (connection to the mobile phone network).
  • Incorporation of video surveillance cameras into the new Ethernet system:
    The installation of a universal Ethernet system eliminates the need to equip video cameras with communication systems. It is planned to incorporate sub-systems for features such as automatic passenger counting (APC) and video surveillance (VSS) into the network at a later date (for communication within the train and to the control centre).

Schedule for PIS Refit 2017–2019

The schedules for the NINA Refit and PIS Refit projects could not be completely synchronised. Nevertheless, in order to benefit from the synergy potential associated with the vehicle modifications to be made in both cases, the NINA trains that have already been modernised were also prepared for the PIS Refit. The complete PIS modification of NINA trains began in mid-2017 simultaneously with the NINA Refit measures at the workshop in Bönigen. The PIS modernisation measures for the Lötschberger trains will be carried out during the normal inspection process to the extent that this is possible.

The PIS Refit modernisation project for all 61 NINA and Lötschberger trains is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Overview of the PIS Refit modernisation project:

Modernisation planning


Lötschberger trains

2017 6 8
2018 12 4
2019 18 13


In addition to the passenger information system, the Lötschberger fleet will be equipped with a second set of screens for the display of news, weather information and ads. We teamed up with our partner passengertv after a tender invitation process. The second screen will offer passengers added value by providing them with the latest news. Because the additional ad revenue will make BLS more competitive, it will be possible to decrease the level of government payments over the long term and thus reduce the financial burden on passengers and taxpayers.


APC Automatic passenger counting
RVAP Rail vehicle applications
PIS Passenger information systems
Rail vehicle IT system
LED Light-emitting diode
TFT Thin-film transistor display
VSS Video surveillance system
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