Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Swiss Rail-Not so perfect.

Lalu Yadav presented dream Railway Budget. Rs.20000 Cr. earning from Railways is way beyond any ones expectation. But this success story doesn't mean that Rail travel is comfortable or Trains are punctual ,clean and safe to travel. Far from it. when traveling experience of Train in India will match that of European or other developed nations than trains will be 1st choice . There is tremendous mismatch between the two. At present train travel is preferred by those who can't afford air travel or to places where air link is not available.
Swiss Travel service-especially the Rail Line is famous for its comfort,punctuality and works like clockwork.Trains are impeccably clean,very comfortable seats,Map of the route is everywhere,it is punctual to the minute,regular announcement on PA system in train,Timetable which is easy to understand and best of all-not crowded at all.One wonders at the Economics of running almost empty train.Unfortunately during my stay train travel in Switzerland was marred by glitches in Rail service. On the first day traveling from Geneva to Interlaken via Bern,train was terminated at Thun as there was accident between Thun and Spiez. We had to travel by bus with all the suitcases,and Bus was more crowded than BEST bus in Mumbai !!.On 3rd. day,while visiting Luzern,train was terminated at Hergiswill and we had to complete onward travel by Bus. As we had Swiss Pass this was possible otherwise one has to buy costly ticket. On final day returning from Interlaken to Geneva Airport,train arrived on time at Lausanne,but halted there for more than 15 mts and was late.It was terminated at Geneva City and started it's return journey to Bern on time but I had get off at Geneva with all the luggage, change the platform-had to pay for the luggage trolley- take next train to Geneva Airport.
Swiss Rail Line usually runs perfectly but it's single line system at most of the places and hence even a small problem can potentially throw the system in disarray. They can put the system back on rails in short time besides number of people traveling by train in Switzerland is far less and easily manageable.

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