Survey names Swiss Federal Railways as best in Europe

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A Swiss Federal Railways train races through Fluelen in September 2016. A survey has named the Swiss railways as the best in Europe.
TRAINS: David Lassen

LONDON — A survey by a British rail-ticket-booking website has named the Swiss Federal Railways as the best passenger train service in Europe.

“The Great Train Comparison,” commissioned by the Loco2 site, used a 100-point survey to rank 16 major rail companies in a dozen categories, including their treatment of business travelers, families with kids, foodies, and disabled passengers. The Swiss railways came out on top in four categories — families with kids, disabled passengers, cyclists, and winter sports — and second in three others.

On the subject of disabled travelers, for example, the survey notes, “It’s the ever-efficient Swiss who lead the way … with a sophisticated offering for passengers with a physical disability or those who might benefit from explanations in simple language.”

Deutsche Bahn, the German rail agency, took second place, finishing at the top in three categories — backpackers, environmentalists, and quiet ambiance. OBB, the Austrian Federal Railways, took third place, taking the top spot with couples and finishing second in four categories.

The full list of those taking the top spot in each category:

Business travelers: Trenitalia (Italy)

Family with kids: Swiss Federal Railways

Backpackers: Deutsche Bahn

Foodies: České Dráhy, Czech Republic

Disabled passengers: Swiss Federal Railways

Environmentalists: Deutsche Bahn

Quiet Ambiance: Deutsche Bahn

People with pets: Virgin Trains East Coast (United Kingdom)

Cyclists: Swiss Federal Railways

Winter sports: Swiss Federal Railways

Couples: Austrian Federal Railways

Fast Track (best travel times): SNCF (France)

The full survey, featuring commentary on each category by bloggers specializing in each topic, is available here.

Trains magazine readers who have signed up for this fall's tour of Switzerland will get the opportunity to experience the Swiss railways firsthand. That tour is sold out, but another tour is scheduled for September 2019. Details of that tour will be announced soon.

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