The UK rail sector and others around the world could see benefits from a cadenced railway timetable similar to that used by the Swiss Railway network, a senior official has said.

Speaking at the Growth & the Capacity Challenge conference on 10 March in London, Swiss Railways SBB AG head of freight infrastructure Hansruedi Kaeser said the Swiss rail network had seen success from cadenced timetabling for 26 years.

“We have found this system to provide a truly holistic approach to timetabling and recommend it highly,” Kaeser said.

A cadenced timetable works by having a fixed arrival and departure time for all trains across the network regardless of operating speeds.

The Swiss system works with trains arriving and leaving on every quarter of an hour.

“A cadenced timetable eliminates the need for the network operator, freight companies and industry to consultant on train times and eliminates the need for varied timetables completely,” Kaeser said. “This allows industry and operators to harmonise projects by working on a common system.”

The Swiss SBB Rail Network currently operates 8,000–9,000 trains a day over 3,000km of network and carries around 850,000 passengers a day.

By Daniel Garrun.