SBB lacks train drivers due to corona crisis

Swiss national railway operator SBB is not able to relaunch its normal schedule. The company lacks train drivers due to some delays, caused by the corona crisis, in its recruitment and training campaigns. SBB will intensify its training courses this autumn and in 2021.

“The corona crisis has exacerbated the lack of resources among train driver personnel, as many training and further education courses could not be carried out for a long time. In addition, even today training on the vehicles is only possible with restrictions,” SBB stated. As a result, the completion of the training courses was postponed by two to four months.

Currently, the Swiss operator can’t relaunch its ordinary timetable and is providing the reduced services for the Léman Express network, the Zürich S-Bahn routes, some regional connections (especially in Lausanne area) and long-distance links (including those between Zürich and Lucerne). SBB has apologised to customers for any inconvenience and expects that the situation could be improved from mid-2021.

New courses

Therefore, SBB has already scheduled for this autumn to launch the training courses for around 340 train drivers, which are 10 per cent of the company’s locomotive staff. The railway undertaking is planning to train them on more routes and vehicle types so that they can be deployed more flexibly.

In the first half of 2021, SBB will start the following courses: on 1 January in Ziegelbrücke and Geneva, on 2 January in Geneva/Vallorbe, on 1 March in Zürich, on 1 April in Lucerne, on 1 May in Zürich and on 1 June in Olten. Most of the programmes will be carried out in German, except those to take place in Geneva and Vallorbe (they will be in French). Depending on the location and the skills required, the training course takes 14 to 16 months. The trainees are employed for this period.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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