\r\nIn September 2017 SBB submitted an application to BAV for the continued operation of the entire long-distance network, with the aim of maintaining the monopoly it has held on the sector since 2004. BLS, Switzerland\u2019s second-largest railway, sought a concession for the operation of five routes.\r\nBAV has now launched a period of consultation with the Cantons and other stakeholders, which is due to continue until May 23. A final decision on the shape of the concessions will be made in mid-June and this will be followed by a 30-day appeal period.\r\nThe new concessions are due to start in December 2019. From December 2020 Southeastern Railway (SOB) will take over operation of Gotthard Panorama Line services from Basle and Zurich to Locarno and Lugarno via the original Gotthard line and Chur - Z\u00fcrich - Bern services, which will be co-branded SOB-SBB.\r\nAccording to BAV director Mr Peter F\u00fcglistaler, this new model with more than one operator is in the best interest of customers and the most efficient way of maintaining the quality of the Swiss public transport system. SBB says the BAV\u2019s proposal represents a \u201cparadigm shift\u201d and has already called for a more detailed examination of the entire situation.