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Swiss, Germans feud over train delays


Two countries with reputations for precision are at odds with each other over German trains whose imprecise performance is allegedly messing up Swiss rail schedules.

A number of Germany's high-speed trains serve Swiss cities including Zurich, Interlaken and Chur, entering Switzerland at Basel, where the two countries and France meet at a common border.

Switzerland says that eight of the ten most-often delayed trains in Switzerland are German trains that cause knock-on delays all over the Swiss network. Swiss Federal Transport Office has proposed terminating German trains at Basel and requiring passengers to switch there to Swiss trains for the final leg of the trip.

At present, the Swiss rail operator SBB keeps trains on standby at Basel to replace delayed service from Germany and get Basel-to-Zurich passengers to their destination on time.

The new proposal would make that the norm, but has drawn fire in both countries. The mayors of Zurich and Interlaken say they need the direct connection to keep business flowing and the German federal government says that rail operator Deutsche Bahn will need to address its punctuality issues.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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