Lausanne station will be the centrepiece of this project. From 2021, SBB will lengthen its platforms to 420 metres and build additional underpasses for improved access. This will facilitate the use of 400 metre long trains with 1,050 seats. The Lausanne-Geneva route will be serviced on four tracks at 15-minute intervals. At the same time, a cross-border commuter train will be introduced in western Switzerland. The new, double-track CEVA line will have a length of 16 km, will run largely underground and connect Genève-Cornavin, Eaux-Vives and Annemasse (France). The new line will connect existing rail networks in Switzerland and France, thus underlining the cross-border provision of the Léman Express. Its final commissioning is set for December 2019.
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They have more seats than their predecessors, power outlets next to all seats in first and second class, state-of-the-art mobile repeaters, attractive family zones, modern restaurants and bright, spacious WC facilities.
As it is not possible to utilise conventional tilt technology to compensate for centrifugal forces when travelling along bends with double-decker trains, an additional technology is also used: WAKO roll compensation. This allows trains to reach greater speeds along bends, in turn reducing travel times by up to 8%.
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The new Gotthard Base Tunnel is an expression of Swiss precision, innovation and reliability. Its commissioning on 11 December 2016 constituted a new milestone for the Gotthard north-south axis. Before the commissioning of the Ceneri Base Tunnel and the four-metre corridor in late 2020, about 25 construction projects will be implemented along the feeder routes to the two base tunnels between Basel and Chiasso. SBB will implement numerous measures in the areas of rolling stock, construction and operation in order to reduce the impact on its passengers as much as possible until completion of the construction work.
After the opening of the two base tunnels, Gotthard and Ceneri, SBB passengers will be able to reach Ticino even faster. The new ‘Giruno’ train will help to shorten the trip from Zurich to Lugano by 45 minutes from the end of 2019. It will be approved in four countries and carry customers from Italy to Germany or Austria without a change of train.
Railway connections within the canton of Ticino will also become considerably faster. The journey between Lugano and Locarno, for instance, will take only 22 minutes instead of 55 from 2020.
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You’re familiar with the everyday situation of trying to get from A to B as quickly, cheaply and conveniently as possible. In an ideal world, you would manage all three. In practice, however, our customers often find themselves in something of a dilemma as it is rarely possible to meet all their requirements. Although the IC train lets you travel between cities quickly and conveniently (in other words: without having to change), the last stretch needs to be done by taxi, increasing the costs of the trip. You could, however, book a supersaver ticket for the train journey in advance with the SBB Mobile app. And, instead of taking a taxi, you could reserve a Mobility vehicle at your destination. Bookings of this kind can currently only be made on separate apps or websites, which can be quite time-consuming. It also means you might be making a few compromises in terms of convenience and speed in exchange for getting to your destination cheaply. Plan, book and travel quickly and easily. The current SBB Mobile app does not show the entire range of transport options available for every situation. Journey costs are only calculated from the nearest stop, for example. Alternatives such as PubliBike and using your own car do not appear as available options either. You can now download a solution from your app store: the “SBB Trip Planner Preview” app. The main advantage for people who use mobile devices on the move is that they can decide on their travel options based on their individual requirements as the new app combines everything on one platform – not just buses, trams and trains, but a whole range of other forms of transport:
PubliBike availability and reservation
Users’ own cars and bikes
You can book your chosen combination of transport without leaving the app, which will take a lot less time than it currently does. The app also lets you retrieve necessary information any time when you’re on the move. The app’s map feature is just as handy – it means that you don’t have to switch to another app to find out how to walk or cycle to your destination. Ultimately, of course, the individual user always has the final say on which travel option is the most feasible. The new possibilities that the “SBB Trip Planner Preview” app opens up are clear: the timetable of the future will address the need for seamless journey plans and provide real added value. Note: SBB is launching the “SBB Trip Planner Preview” as a separate app. It is still in development and is therefore only available as a preview. The “SBB Trip Planner Preview” is available on both the Apple Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android. Share your ideas and suggestions for improvement in the SBB Community and help us to design the trip planner of the future. For further information, please visit: sbb.ch/en/tripplanner
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When it comes to innovative developments, several heads are better than one: The more creative minds we can get together to tackle a challenging problem and outdo one another with good ideas, the greater our potential for innovation. He calls it “potential” because whether or not a solution proves successful will ultimately always depend on how much added value it brings for users and how well it works on the market. Strengthening one’s innovative capabilities also means sharing information. This is precisely the approach SBB is taking with its open data strategy. By providing as many interested and ambitious developers as possible with access to relevant, high-quality SBB data, we can increase our combined innovative capabilities. Peter Herzog is convinced: “Although SBB is sacrificing some of its competitive edge by disclosing data, it gets more out than it puts in.” Peter is responsible for the new open data platform for public transport in Switzerland. After all, if innovative developments with tangible benefits for our customers are also going to make Swiss public transport more attractive, then everyone stands to gain: customers, developers and the whole public transport sector. Open data platforms as a source of innovative developments. Since 1 December 2016, anyone interested has had the option to request all scheduled and actual arrival and departure times (target and actual data) for the entire public transport network on the new platform. The real-time information therefore also includes all details of delays, platform changes and route changes.
In addition, SBB provides a variety of other relevant data on the separate SBB open data platform free of charge. This includes system data from stops, rolling stock formation, services and shops at stations, passenger footfall at stations and a list of trains on each section of line. SBB is placing no limits on creativity when it comes to using these data for developing innovative apps or other applications for passengers. “Who knows, perhaps the supermarket self-checkout will soon be telling you whether the trains, trams and busses for your upcoming journey are on time or whether you can still grab a quick coffee,” explains data controller Christian Trachsel. SBB is continuing to monitor which other data it can put in the public domain. However, customer details will never be published and personal data are never disclosed. Data protection is thus guaranteed at all times. SBB closely monitors which data are made public.
When disclosing data, SBB differentiates between three different categories:
SBB never discloses customer details or safety-related data (closed data) to third parties as a basic principle. This takes absolute priority in the relevant corporate directives that govern the disclosure of data. Retaining customers’ trust is number one on SBB’s agenda.
Data that have the potential to drive innovative developments in relation to attractive public transport in Switzerland are published by SBB for free. Anyone who is interested has free access to these data in machine-readable form. The following data from this category are already available on SBB’s open data platform: traffic statistics, system data from stops, rolling stock formation, services and shops at stations, passenger footfall at stations and a list of trains on each section of line.
SBB is convinced that this data strategy will enable innovative services to be developed that bring customers real benefits. Open data platform for public transport in Switzerland: www.opentransportdata.swiss SBB’s open data portal: https://data.sbb.ch Central contact for queries relating to data: firstname.lastname@example.org More information about SBB’s open data strategy: http://www.sbb.ch/opendata Background information on digital transformation at SBB: http://www.sbb.ch/en/group/media/dossier-medienschaffende/digital-transformation.html
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With over 300 posts, you are one of the most active members of the Preview Community, Mr Wolffers. What is the motivation behind your involvement in this Community? I am a slow man from Bern. Before I travel, I need to know while still in Bern where to board the train so I can reach my destination in Zurich as quickly as possible. I hope that my involvement in the Community will help other travellers get around more easily with fewer clicks. The information regarding train formation is an important step towards this, although I would have liked it to be more detailed. For example, it could be in the form of a train formation plan with details of coach numbers, low-floor access and toilets. Information about steps, ramps and lifts that are out of order in the station would be helpful too. This would enable me to plan my journey from the comfort of my own home. Is there anything else like this that you’re passionate about? I’ve been interested in timetables for as long as I can remember. I’ve compared timetables from all over the world and I must say that I’m actually really happy with SBB’s timetabling. That’s also why I care a lot about developing the timetable in the app. Another thing is how user-friendly the payment process is – but I don’t use that so much. Apart from that, I’ve also campaigned for an offline timetable option for people who have limited Internet access, but it’s not possible to make that a reality, unfortunately. Have any of your suggestions been implemented specifically? It definitely wasn’t only my idea, but one of the biggest pluses of the new app is that you can buy regional transport tickets straight from the homepage. I’ve also campaigned for an emergency number that’s easy to find. How do you rate the way SBB and the other Community members work together? The Community needs to be moderated strictly and something should be done to make sure that people check whether a topic has been discussed before. Unfortunately, lots of members don’t take the time to use the search function to check this. As for SBB, I would have liked to see them respond quickly to rejected ideas as well. But the fact that new products are being developed with the customers’ help is really great. And now I’m very happy to accept this lovely supper as a thank you for my involvement! With SBB Mobile’s launch date just around the corner, what do you think of the result? You definitely have to get used to the new app first because it isn’t based on the old one – it’s been developed entirely from scratch – but it has lots of great new features. I like the touch timetable most of all, and the team are still working hard to improve the app even more. Despite the new app, people who don’t have Internet access should still receive good service at the station. We would like to thank Urs Wolffers for his involvement in the Community and for agreeing to give this interview.
More information SBB Mobile
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Customers are really pleased with SBB. However, visitors to this platform gave the fewest stars for ticket and travelcard prices. The costs of running trains actually increase by a little each year. There are two reasons for this: firstly, the government increases track usage charges and secondly, the service is being continually developed and more and more rolling stock is introduced, which, of course, is not free. So that the rising prices stay realistic for customers, the price supervisor investigates them closely. SBB also works hard to ensure that rail travel continues to stay attractive and affordable: for some years now, supersaver tickets have been available on certain routes and at selected times. The low-priced 1-day travelpass Plus offer is currently running for small groups. Martin Rechsteiner, SBB Service Scout, put the 1-day travelpass Plus to the test with his family.
Auf nach Nyon mit der Tageskarte Plus https://t.co/NrXDahFPhX pic.twitter.com/FTThGz2wwf
— Martin Rechsteiner (@pokipsie) 3. Oktober 2016
Martin, you took a trip with the 1-day travelpass Plus. How was it? It was super. My family and I went to Nyon. So that’s my wife and three daughters, the youngest is seven months old. First we took the train to Konolfingen and picked up my wife’s grandma. We visited the castle in Nyon. There’s a museum there, a garden and a wonderful view. Would you have made this trip by car? No, that would have been more expensive, especially with the detour to Konolfingen. It’s also more comfortable to travel by train and the little ones can cope with longer journeys better because they can move about more and play. What do you think about public transport prices? In some cases, the prices are quite steep. Over the last 19 years I’ve almost always had a GA travelcard – if I could afford it. It was worth it every time. But going away on the train as a family soon gets expensive because my wife doesn’t have a GA travelcard. When we travel to Grisons, I always check if there’s a supersaver ticket. I find offers like the 1-day travelpass Plus very attractive. I also like the Junior travelcards for 30 Swiss francs a year. Soon they’ll only cost half that, which is great.
1-day travelpass Plus: a good reason to take the train The 1-day travelpass Plus is available for groups of two to four people. One of the people travelling must have a Half-Fare travelcard. Lots of people who travel in their free time take the car when they go away because they find the train too expensive. That’s why the 1-day travelpass Plus is such a great offer to start with. New customers can be safe in the knowledge that they can travel together by train comfortably and at an affordable price.
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The “Google Trolley” in action: Creating 360° images in Zurich main station involved precision work. Zurich main station is now shown in detail in Google Maps. For example, a new feature displays the individual levels in the station, as well as all shops, making it easier to locate everything. Passengers can also use Google Street View on their smartphone to quickly get their bearings at Zurich main station, find their way to where they need to go or explore the station from the comfort of their home PC. All of this makes it much easier to plan journeys and find one’s way through Zurich’s main station. Sven Tresp and his team at Google are responsible for Street View image capture throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. They make it possible to take virtual journeys along hiking trails, up and down ski slopes, past castles and palaces, up Mont Blanc, alongside famous buildings and much more. In the following interview, Tresp talks about the special features of image capturing at Zurich main station. Sven Tresp, is Zurich main station the first railway station that Google Maps has mapped or captured images from for Google Street View? And what is Google’s goal here? Sven Tresp: Zurich main station is, along with Winterthur station, the first train station in Switzerland that is being linked to Google Maps services in this manner. We’re very pleased that cooperation with SBB is enabling us to offer 360° Street View images and enhanced location-based information on Google Maps to passengers and Google Maps users at the busiest railway station in Switzerland. We believe that passengers very much want to have such services, as we’ve repeatedly noticed in other countries that people like to be able to use digital channels to find their way around, especially in large buildings – like big train stations. More and more people are using online services such as Google Maps and Street View to plan their journeys – even inside buildings. In huge train stations like Zurich main station, people are often interested in finding the fastest way to get to the ticket window or the platform from which their train is departing. Sometimes, they also want to know how to get to a particular shop in the building The online services I mentioned can provide very targeted assistance here. Accessibility is also a very important issue when you have a stroller or use a wheelchair. Basically, people want to find the best and fastest way to where they want to go – in line with their particular needs or situation. How did the work go? What was special about capturing images in a train station? Recording images in a train station is very interesting and exciting because you’re linking the outside world – in other words the city – with the inside of a building and all the elements that come together there. This includes the platforms, but also a multitude of shops, restaurants, bars, kiosks and other places that are frequented by a large number of people. It’s really like a small city in itself. Moreover, a train station like Zurich main station has many routes on several different levels that have to be traversed by the Street View Trolley to obtain the required images. Naturally, a lot of people asked us while we were recording how the 360° imaging technology works and where and when they’ll be able to view the images. What does Google do to protect people’s privacy and anonymity when capturing images in a train station? We at Google work hard every day to further improve the map material in Google Maps for our users. In terms of anonymity, capturing images with the Trolley here in the station is no different to making image recordings with other Street View vehicles such as cars, trikes, the Trekker or even snowmobiles: Protecting people’s privacy is the top priority. We employ a standardised process that blurs the parts of all images that contain license plates and human faces before the images are published. We’re also pleased that self-learning blurring technology is making this process more and more precise. What’s more, if any user in Switzerland wants specific objects to be made unrecognisable, all they have to do is click on “Make images unrecognisable” in the lower corner of the image. This will put them directly in contact with Google, and they can then inform us of the changes or updates they would like to see. In general, we’ve noticed that people in Switzerland very much appreciate the way Street View makes it easier for them to get their bearings and find their way around places. Where the outside and inside worlds meet: An exciting image-capturing challenge for Google at (and in) Zurich main station. How has your cooperation been with SBB, and what’s the outlook regarding the expansion of digital services for passengers in Switzerland? We’re very pleased that the new Google Maps online services for Zurich main station became available for use this month. Thanks to our cooperation with SBB, it will be possible for SBB customers to use the images not just in Google Maps but also in SBB apps such as “My station“ in the future. You can visit Street View for Zurich main station here.
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Thomas Kupferschmied-Wickart, you describe yourself as a “brand architect, designer and digital nomad” on your XING profile. What does a typical day in your nomadic life look like? At the heart of it, my life isn’t all that different from anyone else’s: I have an office (in our coworking space), a flat (well, a little studio apartment) and a GA travelcard. The only difference is that there’s practically no such thing as a “typical” day for me and my workplace is mobile because it’s in the cloud. The one constant is change. I’m always on the move because my customers are all over Switzerland. I don’t have much structure to my routine – except for my morning coffee, which I couldn’t do without. Every day is different. I usually plan out my schedule the evening before. The most important thing is for me to always have more or less complete access to my mobile office. Digital nomads are often accused of not working “properly”. Do you often find yourself having to justify your lifestyle to people who can’t work flexibly? Yes, I hear that now and again (grins). Most of the prejudice arises from the fact that people can’t imagine what such a working day would look like, as they’re so used to working within their rigid structures. I would even go so far as to say that I work more than people in a conventional job – it’s just distributed across the whole day. I can work almost anywhere because I always have my mobile office with me. And if I can find a good coffee too, all the better. A firm daily plan and helpful tools and apps are my essentials. But I never justify myself to people – I just explain to them how it works. Most people are pleasantly surprised and this leads to an interesting conversation. That’s my goal: good networking. What do you think are the benefits of your way of working compared to having a fixed workplace? Are there any disadvantages? Every way of working has its advantages and disadvantages, of course. For example, I still have a fixed workstation in our coworking space. For certain jobs I need a big monitor, which I have on my desk. Because I’m on the go a lot, certain times aren’t so productive and I have to catch up in the evening or at the weekend. But the high level of flexibility makes this all worthwhile. Fixed workplaces have their advantages, but employees must be willing to make working hours more flexible. This would definitely boost motivation. However, my way of working isn’t for everyone. Some people really value clear structures – and that’s fine because we need these people too. It all sounds very dynamic and modern – but it must be stressful too, and even lonely at times. Things are only stressful if you don’t enjoy doing them. I love my job (#bestjobever) so I don’t feel like my day-to-day life is stressful. Of course, as I said before, it’s important to plan everything out, but my day always shapes up to be interesting and varied.
And loneliness definitely isn’t an issue for me. As I mentioned, my fixed workstation is in our coworking space, where I get to see my friends and new coworkers are always dropping by. As a XING ambassador and networker, I also get to attend a lot of events, meet new people and talk about exciting topics. When I’m on the move, I catch up with acquaintances and customers over coffee or lunch. That is the benefit of flexible working. You do a lot of work on the train – what are your must-haves for working efficiently? Again, solid preparation is really important. Then of course I need a good Internet connection during the train journey too. Even though, as a designer, I don’t always need to be online, I use the Internet now and again for research. If there’s a dining car, I’ll usually sit there so that I have a table to work at. A while ago, I was in the dining car on a train from Zurich to Bern when another passenger suddenly approached me and asked: “Is there wifi here?” Sadly, I had to disappoint him, but I was able to show him how to get online using the hotspot function. Then he asked: “But what about power sockets?” Here, too, I had to tell him the bad news: “There aren’t any.” Then we got talking. SBB still has a lot of catching up to do in this regard. For example, Deutsche Bahn provides an Internet connection in its ICE trains, comfortable workstations and power sockets at every seat. Last year, you opened the BUREAU.D coworking space in Dietikon. Did your vision of a “home from home”, in other words an office with a cosy atmosphere and filled with familiar faces, get out of hand? No – quite the opposite, in fact. I knew that I’d still be on the move a lot, so a workstation in the coworking space is perfect for me. With the coworking space, we want to offer other entrepreneurs and digital workers a cheap workstation that they can use at any time and the opportunity to exchange ideas with like-minded people.
Being able to discuss things with my colleagues or new coworkers who are using the space is something that I value too. I already enjoyed working this way even before I opened the coworking space. I love working in different places and meeting people from all walks of life. Over to you: what’s your favourite place to work?
Competition: #weworksmart 12 to 16 September is Work Smart Week. The organisers want you to get involved: give flexible working a go, and share photos of your experience! The best post with the hashtag #weworksmart will win a designer chair. For more information, visit www.work-smart-initiative.ch/smarter-arbeitsplatz (in German and French)
Work Smart Initiative SBB, Swisscom, Microsoft Switzerland, Mobiliar, Swiss Post and Witzig launched the Work Smart Initiative in spring 2015. By promoting flexible forms of working, the initiative aims to achieve the following goals: (1) To create motivating environments for highly qualified employees; (2) To make the job market more accessible to professionals; (3) To make smarter use of resources and transport infrastructure. For more information, visit www.work-smart-initiative.ch (in German and French)
SBB Service Scouts As an SBB Service Scout, Thomas Kupferschmied’s job is to provide neutral reports – and criticism where needed – of SBB’s services. SBB Service Scouts spend a year reporting on topics relating to customer satisfaction, integrating these activities into their everyday lives, examining the issues that arise and documenting them online. More about the SBB Service Scouts’ mission
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Well-connected – facts and figures:
Signal boosters: system for bridging insulation that suppresses mobile phone signals. 1,083 air-conditioned coaches and 51 sets of long-distance trains have already had the system fitted, with 1,700 coaches in regional services (including the Zurich S-Bahn) to follow suit by 2022.
Power sockets: 28,500 have been installed in trains across Switzerland.
WiFi: SBB offers SBB WiFi in the 80 or so busiest stations.
For more information visit sbb.ch/on-the-move
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Beats are booming from portable speakers, combining with the cheerful chatter of partiers to form a deafening hum. It’s the Street Parade. Just under a million people attend the party on the shores of Lake Zurich. Most of them travel on the night and special event trains, of which there are over 100, and leave their traces in the station. Niki de Saint Phalle’s Nana – the guardian angel of passengers – flies high above our heads, unimpressed by the hustle and bustle. With her glowing colours, she could be part of the parade. But the fat Nana is our meeting point, because we’re not here to party. Tonight we’re helping SBB RailClean clean a station in quite an exceptional state. Running through the station,
Dominique greets us with a laugh. “Are you wearing good shoes? Then let’s go!” She is a team leader at RailClean. One of 400 employees who ensure the stations are clean from early in the morning until late at night, day in, day out. There’s far more to RailClean’s work than just cleaning floors and emptying bins. They’re also responsible for caretaking, removing graffiti and clearing station thoroughfares in winter. Dominique works speedily. When we’re on the go we’re forever bumping into the two-strong teams in fluorescent jackets who are cleaning floors, collecting rubbish, whipping toilets into shape. “People think a bit of cleaning can’t be hard.” The training to be a cleaning specialist is challenging, she says, as the job requires a lot of expertise. And apparently a high level of organisational skill: Dominique switches between answering questions on the phone, giving instructions over the radio – the teams are linked by radio – and bending down every few metres to pick up rubbish on the floor. Getting acquainted with Glutton, Jonas and Juma. We find out about everything that is needed to clean a station in the materials room: as well as pallets containing towels, toilet paper and cleaning products, there is also an impressive fleet of vehicles. We meet “Glutton”, the giant vacuum cleaner. The name is appropriate, as he effortlessly makes cigarette butts, half-eaten hamburgers and chewing gum disappear down his long trunk. “Jonas” is not one of Dominique’s colleagues, but a machine that dry-cleans floors. “Kärcher B 250 R Bp” will undoubtedly be used a fair few times tonight to wet-clean the sticky floors, looking at all the spilled beer outside. And the cleaning machine Juma Rotomac 360 even removes stubborn chewing gum from the cracks in the escalators. “Krchchschzt.” Dominique’s radio crackles. The ÜWZ monitoring centre is reporting a big puddle on platform 33/34, section B, so the team leader sends one of the mobile cleaning team there immediately. The mishap is fixed within a few minutes. On a normal Saturday, 18 people would be working shifts to keep the station clean. During the Street Parade there’s over 50. Bringing in temporary employees is the only way to tackle the task. They are equipped with gloves, protective glasses and litter pickers and help RailClean’s employees with their work. World champions in recycling. Zurich main station has had recycling facilities since last year. They are emptied three times a day. She is delighted that the passengers are able to sort almost all recyclable materials correctly. It means that 750 tonnes of newspapers, plastic bottles and aluminium cans every year, that would previously have ended up in an in incineration, are now recycled. In addition, 38,000 tonnes of rubbish is removed from stations throughout Switzerland every year. With a staff of 400, that makes 95 tonnes per person. Each employee therefore disposes of around 260 kilograms of waste every day. The cleanest place in Zurich. We meet Giezel on the Löwenstrasse arcade, the cleanest place in Zurich during the Street Parade. Whilst he explains his cleaning trolley to us, a mob of people dressed as animals rush past us into the next S-Bahn to Stadelhofen. Straight off to the heart of the parade. Giezel is often asked for directions: “Hey! Where’s Burger King?” “Go up the stairs and take a left.” It is clear that working at RailClean involves much more than just cleaning. Bright marble floors, dazzling light, white walls: I ask Dominique if she ever wishes that she was cleaning a station where you couldn’t see every single speck of dust. “No, the passengers’ time in the station has to be as pleasant as possible,” she retorts. Even here under ground, a friendly atmosphere can be created with lots of light and a bright environment. “Incidentally, the floor is really great to clean,” she adds, beaming almost as brightly as the snow-white walls. The party is over. The Street Party comes to an end at 10 p.m. While some continue the celebrations in clubs, others make their way back home on the train. We also say goodbye and do a final lap of the station. Tired ravers looking exhausted and with painful feet are sitting on the floor, surrounded by their rubbish. However, Aniba is on hand and is driving “Jonas” stoically around the main hall. For Dominique, Giezel, Peter, Lulu, Aniba, Samuel and all the others, the end of their shift is still long off. They will carry on working until the early hours. On Sunday morning, the station will again look as if nothing had happened. Text: Martina Messerli, SBB Photos: Severin Bigler, Keystone
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