Switzerland’s nationwide railway presents the most effective general service in Europe, in response to a brand new report taking a look at how the continent’s main prepare corporations profit completely different sorts of traveller, together with households and passengers with disabilities.
The Great Train Comparison Report, commissioned by on-line prepare reserving service Loco2, surveyed all however one of many European rail corporations that provide high-speed, long-distance daytime trains, with journeys of at the very least 400km.
Sixteen rail corporations, together with Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS), Deutsche Bahn (DB), Eurostar and Virgin Trains, had been requested to reply to a 100-point survey detailing the amenities and facilities they supply for several types of passengers.
For households, Swiss Federal Railways took the highest spot; in addition to family-friendly zones and carriages, the operator has created play areas for youngsters on the highest deck of its inter-city trains. While, Deutsche Bahn, which got here second, presents the providers of skilled child-minders.
Children in a play space, in one in all Swiss Federal Railway’s household carriages. Photograph: Thomas Egli
The Swiss operator, together with Spain’s state rail company, Renfe, provided the most effective service for disabled passengers, offering a “sophisticated” and “carefully coordinated” help to passengers with a variety of wants. Eurostar, which provides a complimentary improve from commonplace class to plain premier to wheelchair passengers, got here third.
The report praised Deutsch Bahn for its clear sustainability coverage, from sourcing meals responsibly to favouring inexperienced vitality for its electrical trains. Passengers on the German railway additionally get a reduction on scorching drinks if they supply their very own cup.
Deutsche Bahn and Austrian Railways (ÖBB) got here first and second respectively for backpackers, with neither operator requiring seat reservations or expenses for these travelling on Interrail or Eurail passes, in addition to providing free wifi and loads of house for bigger rucksacks.
Though UK prepare operators struggled to make it into the highest three in most classes, they excelled when it got here to supporting passengers travelling with pets. Virgin East Coast (which can change into London and North Eastern Railway when briefly taken again below state management on 24 June) was found to be greatest on this class, adopted by Great Western Railway and Cross Country Trains, all of which permit passengers to deliver their pets at no further price.
Overall, Swiss Federal Railways got here out prime after taking first place in 4 classes; greatest for households, disabled passengers, cyclists and winter sports activities. It was adopted carefully by German rail operator Duetsche Bahn (DB) and ÖBB Austrian Railways, which got here joint second with a powerful efficiency throughout all classes.
Grid exhibiting the outcomes of the Great Train Comparison Report