April 06, 2016

Rhaetian Railway in profit despite ridership decline

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Rhaetian Railway in profit despite ridership decline David Gubler

RHAETIAN Railway (RhB), Switzerland's largest metre-gauge operator, remained profitable in the 2015 financial year despite falling passenger numbers and challenging economic conditions.

According to the railway's annual report, which was published on April 6, passenger numbers fell to 9.4 million, a 4.5% decline compared with 2014, when RhB celebrated its 125th anniversary. Passenger revenues dropped 4.2% to SFr 93.8m ($US 97.9m).

Car-carrying trains through the Vereina Tunnel carried 467,000 vehicles last year, a 1.2% reduction compared with 2014.

RhB says its strategy to streamline the operation of its freight division yielded positive results despite "very competitive conditions," with revenues climbing 4.2% to SFr 14.1m.

Ebit reached SFr 2.8bn and profits declined slightly to SFr 136,000.

Investment in the network increased 2.4% to SFr 214m, including SFr 56m for work on the new Albula Tunnel and SFr 13m for new Stadler trains for the Chur - St Moritz Albula line, the first of which are due to enter service this autumn.

RhB says it does not anticipate any significant changes in economic conditions this year, but it expects to see a slight recovery in tourism, particularly from within Switzerland. Investment in the modernisation of stations, infrastructure and rolling stock is also set to continue.


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