Switzerland: Transport hub in the heart of Europe

11. 08. 2021

Switzerland is considered a railway country: it has a dense railway network used enthusiastically by its citizens. The country is also very significant to European freight transport and to the ÖBB Rail Cargo Group: the most important European freight corridor runs right through the middle of Switzerland. Two thirds of goods are transported by rail.

8.6 million citizens, 26 cantons, 4 official languages (German, Italian, French and Romansh): Switzerland is located in the middle of Europe, surrounded by Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France. With an area of around 41,000 km2 , one of the smallest countries in the world, nevertheless Switzerland has become famous for a number of things. Including for the heavy use of rail, both for passenger and freight transport.

Alpine railway country

Switzerland is known for the great importance of rail transport: one million people travel by train in Switzerland every day. On average, every Swiss person makes 47 rail journeys per year. The more than 5,000 km long rail network, which is one of the densest of its kind in the world, for the most part dates back to the second half of the 19th century.

High investments in rail infrastructure

In 2020, Switzerland invested around 440 euros per capita in rail infrastructure. This makes Switzerland the leader in terms of investment after Luxembourg.

Switzerland relies on freight rail

In 2019, the share of rail in the total transport volume was 40 %. Thereby, Switzerland takes over the pioneering role in shifting freight from road to rail.

This can partly be attributed to the promotion of rail freight transport as part of the railway reform. The infrastructure has also been constantly modernised over the past decades. Another factor contributing to the stabilisation of the share of rail transport was the introduction of the Heavy Vehicle Fee (HVF) for trucks and semi-trailers.

Die Bedeutung der Schweiz für die RCG

The importance of Switzerland for the RCG

The TransFER Wolfurt–Frenkendorf–Rotterdam between Wolfurt, Austrias furthest western terminal, and the Dutch port of Rotterdam connects Western Europe with economic centres in Southern and South-Eastern Europe. In addition, a direct antenna connection to other Austrian terminals is enabled.

TransFER Wolfurt–Frenkendorf–Rotterdam

Two round trips lead from Wolfurt via Kufstein to Rotterdam and back. A third round trip runs from Rotterdam via Frenkendorf, Switzerland, to Wolfurt. There are unloading and loading facilities in Frenkendorf. This allows for us to transfer transport volumes from Frenkendorf to Wolfurt. We can thus create links to the Adriatic ports of Koper and Trieste as well as a direct connection to intercontinental flows of goods to the bimodal terminal BILK, Hungary's largest terminal in Budapest. Our long-term goal is to increase the TransFER Wolfurt-Rotterdam to four relations with two stops in Frenkendorf.

In this way, we also offer the possibility of a connection for goods from Switzerland to the German North Sea ports, as well as the possibility of transferring empty equipment from Switzerland to Wolfurt.

Metals and metal products as well as mineral oil products are transported by rail most frequently.

More information and all contact persons can be found on our website.