February 11, 2014

Swiss voters approve SFr 6.4bn rail infrastructure plan

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VOTERS in Switzerland have approved by a majority of 62% the so-called Faif project to invest SFr 6.4bn ($US 7.1bn) in maintaining and upgrading the national rail network.

For the first time Faif will provide funding for the operation, maintenance and management of the network through a single fund. Around 60% of the fund will be used for infrastructure maintenance and 40% to increase capacity.

The Swiss rail network is expected to be carrying 60% more passengers and 70% more freight traffic by 2030. A priority will be to increase capacity on the Geneva - Lausanne main line where traffic is expected to double to 100,000 passengers per day by 2025, as well as at major junctions in Geneva, Berne, and Basle.

"With Faif, we now have a solid foundation for the future to offer our customers and future generations good quality services and an efficient infrastructure," says the CEO of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) Mr Andreas Meyer. "We must not underestimate the value of maintaining our infrastructure."

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