Railway Act (Switzerland)

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The Swiss Railways Act of December 20, 1957 ( EBG ) ( SR 742.101) regulates all essential aspects of the public rail network in Switzerland and also regulates the regular financing of public transport until 2009. In Switzerland, all trams are also regarded as railways. The federal law has been continuously developed and only a few articles are from the first version of December 20, 1957. The first part of the so-called Railway Reform 2 entered into force on January 1, 2010, the second part on July 1, 2013. Am On June 21, 2013, the National Council and the Council of States passed the bill on the financing and expansion of the railway infrastructure (FABI); the corresponding changes in the Railway Act will come into force on January 1, 2016.


The Federal Constitution states in Article 87 that the legislation on railways federal thing. This means, first of all, that the federal government takes full responsibility for railway matters, so that the cantons do not have any regulatory powers. And second, the legislator is allowed the freedom as he wants to regulate the field of railways.

When the law was passed, the basic order was that every railway used for the public transport of people or goods required a federal license. Excepted from this were the Swiss Federal Railways, which were organized as part of the federal administration, as a so-called government operation and whose existence and organization were regulated in a special law.

With the rail reform that came into force on January 1, 1999, the basic order was essentially adapted to that of the EU, as laid down in Directive 91/440. The previously mandatory assignment between rail traffic and infrastructure operations was canceled. Through network access, every other railway company has the right to use the infrastructure as well. A license now only requires the infrastructure, if it is public, as well as the regular and commercial passenger transport, which is no longer the subject of the Railway Act. Other rail traffic, in particular freight traffic and occasional nostalgic trips, are free, apart from the requirement of a network access permit.

Planning approval

Every new or modified railway system requires federal planning approval. In contrast to other building law in Switzerland, which is regulated by the cantons, the federal administration is responsible for the railways. The considerable expansion of the Swiss rail network (Bahn 2000, NEAT) as well as the constantly increasing requirements, environmental protection, noise protection etc. required a considerable revision of the planning permission law. It is found in the fourth section of the law.

The planning approval procedure according to the Railway Act is also applied to trolleybus systems and, unless the Cable Car Act contains any deviating provisions, also to cable car systems.

Funding rules

When the law was passed, investment aid (Art. 56) and assistance in the event of deficit operations (Art. 58) were provided based on the old Private Railway Aid Act. In addition, a special article made it possible to provide investment aid for converting from rail to road transport (Art. 57). In addition, there was a so-called compensation for public services (Art. 49 ff), which was far less important in terms of amount than the deficit coverage, and the so-called tariff approximation, which was regulated in a special federal decree and aimed at reducing the private rail tariffs to SBB- Tariffs to «approximate».

With the 1995 revision, the financing was significantly rebuilt and standardized for all means of transport (cable cars, ships, buses). In place of deficit coverage, compensation and tariff convergence, compensation for the planned uncovered costs by line of business came from January 1, 1996. The investment contributions were retained, but gradually limited to infrastructure financing.

With the new revision of the law on January 1, 2010, the financing rules in the law were limited to the railway infrastructure. The financing of public transport was included in a newly designed Passenger Transport Act .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ AS 2009 5597
  2. ^ AS 2012 5619
  3. ^ Entries in the business database of the Swiss Parliament
  4. Chronology in the Systematic Legal Collection of Federal Law
  5. Passenger Transport Act
  6. Article 11 of the Trolleybus Act
  7. Article 16 of the Cable Car Act; for the specific provisions, see Articles 9–15 of this law