Company profile

Facts and figures

Interesting facts about BLS Ltd

BLS provides transport services on behalf of seven cantons and is the largest independent private railway company in Switzerland. The Group's business operations also include boat services and charter trips on Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, our Car Transport service on the Lötschberg line, our BLS Cargo subsidiary and regional bus lines in and around Burgdorf, Langnau and Huttwil. BLS Ltd employs more than 3,000 people. These employees ensure that our trains, buses and boats are cleaned and well maintained and that our passengers get to their destinations on time. They also make sure that everyone stays safe at all times and that our infrastructure remains in good condition. 

Employees at BLS Ltd by division

  • 349 Passenger Transport (rail, bus, navigation)
  • 780 Infrastructure
  • 1'452 Railway Operations
  • 270 Management Services (staff)
  • 148 BLS Cargo Ltd and subsidiaries
  • 121 Busland AG
  • 3,162 Group total

Employee numbers include temporary staff and staff paid on an hourly basis;
as at 31/12/2018. Gender breakdown: 81.8% men and 18.2% women.

Route network

  • 520 km Operational management
  • 420 km Owned by BLS Ltd (infrastructure)
  • 700 km Rail and bus lines
  • > 1,000 km Cargo: route network

Group financial data for 2017

  • CHF 1‘118 million Operating income
  • CHF 829 million Operating expenses without depreciation
  • CHF 257 million Depreciation
  • CHF 33 million Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)
  • CHF –5 million Earnings before taxes (EBT)
  • CHF –12,6 million Group net profit

Share capital (in per cent)

  • 21.70% Swiss Federal Government
  • 55.75% Canton of Bern
  • 9.66% Non-voting shares (own shares, dispo shares)
  • 5.86% Natural and legal persons
  • 7.03 % Other cantons, municipalities

Development of transport operations and infrastructure in 2018

  • Passenger travel (in millions of people)
  • 63,8 millions – Regional transport with trains and buses
  • 1,1 million – Navigation
  • 66,3 millions Total
  • 1.3 million Car Transport (transported vehicles) Kandersteg–Goppenstein / Kandersteg–Iselle
  • 17‘529 Cargo (number of trains)
  • 14,2 million Infrastructure (sold trrain-path kilometers)
  • 245 Energy consumption (traction current) Gigawatt hours
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    About us
    Route network

    The BLS network brings regions together

    About us

    Our trains, locomotives, boats and buses

    Annual report

    In the 2017 financial year, BLS generated a result of 15 million francs. A total of 64 million people traveled more than a billion kilometers on the trains, buses and on the ships of the BLS