Company profile

Organisation

BLS Ltd facts and figures

BLS is the largest independent private railway company in Switzerland. The company operates on behalf of seven cantons. BLS regards itself as an innovative and ambitious provider of mobility services.

The Board of Directors

  • Rudolf Stämpfli (born 1955, CH), Dr. oec. HSG (University of St. Gallen), Dr. rer. oec. hc, Publisher Chairman of the Board of Directors since the Annual General Meeting of 28/6/2009, member since the Extraordinary General Meeting of 16/6/2006, Chairman of the Remuneration Committee
  • Renate Amstutz Bettschart (born 1959, CH), lic. rer. pol. Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Directors since the Annual General Meeting of 13/5/2014, member since the Annual General Meeting of 28/5/2009, member of the Remuneration Committee
  • Bernhard Antener (born 1958, CH), advocate **  Member, representative of the Canton of Bern since 1/6/2018
  • Lorenz Bösch (born 1961, CH), degree in Agricultural Engineering (university of applied sciences – FH)  Member of the Board of Directors since the Annual General Meeting of 15/5/2012
  • Viviana Buchmann-Tosi (born 1953, CH), Board of Directors mandates & projects, EMBA FHZ/HSLU Member of the Board of Directors since the Annual General Meeting of 11/5/2017, member of the Finance and Audit Committee
  • Martin Bütikofer (born 1961, CH), Dipl. Industrial Engineering FH  Member of the Board of Directors since the Annual General Meeting of 13/5/2014, member of the Finance and Audit Committee
  • Ueli Dietiker (born 1953, CH), Dipl. Statutory Auditor  Member of the Board of Directors since the Annual General Meeting of 13/5/2014, Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee 
  • Josef Küttel (born 1952, CH), Dipl. KMU-HSG (SME Management) Member of the Board of Directors since the Annual General Meeting of 23/5/2008
  • Stefanie Zimmermann (1977, CH), business economist ** Member, representative of the Canton of Valais since 13.03.2019
**Representative from a public sector corporation (Art. 762 CO, Art. 19 Company Statutes)

The Executive Board

  • Bernard Guillelmon (born 1966, CH), Dipl. Ing. (Engineering) ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), MBA Insead Chairman of the Executive Board (since 2008) 
  • Dirk Stahl (born 1966, CH), Dr. rer. pol., Managing Director of BLS Cargo Ltd Vice Chairman of the Executive Board (since 2010), member of the Executive Board (since 2000)
  • Daniel Hofer (1982, CH), Master International Relations, Executive MBA Head of Passenger Transport (since 2018)
  • Daniel Wyder (born 1972, CH), Dipl. Bauing. (Civil Engineering) ETH, NDS (postgraduate studies) Wirtschaftsing. (Industrial Engineering) FH Head of Infrastructure (since 2010)
  • Peter Fankhauser (born 1970, CH), Dipl. Immobilienwirt (Real Estate Management) VWA/DIA, Dipl. Kaufmann (Business Administration) KFS, AMP-HSG Head of Railway Operations (since 2011)
  • Daniel Leuenberger (born 1964, CH), Dipl. Ing. (Engineering) HTL/NDS SWS, MBA HSG Head of Information Technology (since 2009)
  • Luca Baroni (born 1971, CH, ITA), Dipl. Betriebsökonom (Business Economy) FH/HWV, Executive MBA (HSG) Head of Management Services (since 2017)
  • Franziska Jermann-Aebi (born 1961, CH), Head of Human Resources FH/NDS Head of Human Resources (since 2010)

Corporate structure 

Passenger transport 

Trains and buses

With its ten lines, Bern S-Bahn, which is operated by BLS Ltd, is the second-largest suburban rail network in Switzerland. BLS also offers a wide range of regional and tourism transport services in a route network covering some 700 km in seven Swiss cantons. These include the RegioExpress lines from Bern to Lucerne and into the Emmental Valley, as well as the traditional Lötschberg mountain line to Brig. Safe and modern rail operations are supplemented by a bus network aligned with the rail system, this bus network being managed by our subsidiary Busland AG. BLS transported 60.2 million passengers in 2015, which makes BLS Ltd the Number 1 regional transport company in the Swiss Central Plateau.

Lötschberg/Simplon Car Transport service

The Car Transport service on the Lötschberg line provides the fastest link between the cantons of Bern and Valais. BLS transports passenger cars, motor homes, bicycles and motorcycles through the Alps, as well as trucks and coaches up to a certain size. Seasonal car trains also operate between Kandersteg and Iselle (Italy) as an alternative means of southbound travel that avoids stress and traffic jams. Electronic display systems provide customers in Kandersteg and Goppenstein with information on departure times, prices and traffic conditions.

Bernese Oberland Navigation

The 12 motor ships and two steamboats operated by BLS are popular among both tourists and locals. With their reliable timetables and varied special offers, they offer unforgettable moments in the Bernese Oberland from spring until late autumn. Individual charter trips and celebrations on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are easy to organise with Bernese Oberland Navigation as well. All of our ships feature professional catering services, and the MS Schilthorn is also equipped with modern facilities for seminars and training courses.

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    Infrastructure BLS Netz AG

    Safe and reliable network

    BLS Netz AG builds, operates and maintains BLS’s railway infrastructure. The company is therefore responsible for all facilities, structures and equipment in the BLS network, including train stations, tracks, overhead lines, tunnels, bridges, properties and maintenance vehicles.

    The BLS rail network has a total length of 420 kilometres. The centrepiece of BLS infrastructure is the Lötschberg axis with the 34.6-km Lötschberg Base Tunnel, which opened in 2007. BLS Netz AG is responsible for the operational management of the entire Lötschberg axis from Gümligen to Domodossola.

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      Railway operations

      Smooth operations from a single source

      The 1,400 employees at the Railway Operations division do everything necessary to keep BLS trains moving. Their responsibilities range from long-term planning, fleet and key account management, overall coordination and maintenance to ensuring the safe operation of trains and the provision of support and assistance to passengers.

      At the Bern-Aebimatt, Oberburg and Spiez sites, a total of 150 workshop staff ensure that all rail vehicles are well maintained for daily use. More than 70 vehicle cleaners are responsible for ensuring that carriages are clean.

      The Bönigen workshop is where BLS carries out all of its more complex and time-consuming maintenance work on rolling stock. This includes overhauls, major repairs and retrofit work within the framework of BLS's rolling stock refurbishment and modernisation programmes.

      A total of 600 engine drivers stationed at 14 locations drive BLS’s passenger and freight trains. A total of 130 employees work as train staff or are responsible for analysing travel and route-usage patterns. BLS also has its own security service, which is responsible for ensuring safety on board the trains.
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        Freight Transport BLS Cargo Ltd 

        From north to south

        BLS Cargo Ltd provides freight transport services on the central north-south axis corridor through Switzerland. BLS Cargo operates out of Switzerland and together with strong partners, it offers complete freight transport services from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.

        Activities focus mainly on the use of block trains as unaccompanied combined transport, wagonload freight services and rolling highway services. A further mainstay are transport services within Switzerland, as well as import and export transport. Working in cooperation with its international partners, BLS Cargo utilises modern multi-system locomotives for cross-border transport operations.

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          The subsidiaries 

          BLS Cargo Ltd 

          BLS Cargo Ltd provides freight transport services on the central north-south axis corridor through Switzerland. BLS Cargo operates out of Switzerland and together with strong partners, it offers complete freight transport services from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.

          Activities focus mainly on the use of block trains as unaccompanied combined transport, wagonload freight services and rolling highway services. A further mainstay are transport services within Switzerland, as well as import and export transport. Working in cooperation with its international partners, BLS Cargo utilises modern multi-system locomotives for cross-border transport operations. BLS Ltd owns 52 per cent of BLS Cargo Ltd shares.

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            BLS Netz AG

            BLS Netz AG builds, operates and maintains BLS's railway infrastructure. The BLS rail network has a total length of 420 kilometres. The centrepiece of BLS infrastructure is the Lötschberg axis with the 34.6-km Lötschberg Base Tunnel, which opened in 2007. BLS Netz AG is responsible for the operational management of the entire Lötschberg axis from Gümligen to Domodossola.

            BLS Ltd owns 33.4 per cent of BLS Netz AG shares. The Swiss Federal Government has a 50.05 per cent interest, SBB has a 0.05 per cent interest and the canton of Bern owns 16.5 per cent of the company.

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              Busland AG 

              Busland AG operates a bus network in Emmental and Oberaargau that covers more than 200 kilometres and consists of 18 separate lines. In addition to serving its normal routes, Busland AG operates shuttle buses for BLS during temporary rail-line closures and also provides Moonliner night-time bus services. The company is headquartered in Burgdorf and has additional depots in Langnau in Emmental and in Sumiswald and Huttwil. With its Ilfis Garage in Langnau, Busland AG also operates a service centre for commercial vehicles. BLS Ltd owns 86 per cent of Busland AG.

              • Established in 2006
              • Approximately 120 employees
              • More than 600 stops
              • 36 buses
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                BLS Immobilien AG

                Over the next few years, BLS Immobilien AG will be planning the further development of various rail properties, and will also build and operate new facilities. Here, the company is focusing on close cooperation with the communities and other interest groups and stakeholders in the various locations where such development activities will take place. BLS Immobilien AG will make optimal use of scarce space in the centres of towns and cities and link mobility with state-of-the-art service and shopping centres and community meeting places.
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