Mattstetten–Rothrist new line

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Intercity tilting train on the Mattstetten–Rothrist line
To Zurich
To Basel
39.3 Olten(396 m MSL)
to Solothurn
Born line on left
Kessiloch bridge218 m
Born / Aarburg tunnels(810 / 87 m)
43.0 Aarburg-Oftringen(412 m MSL)
To Lucerne
From Lucerne
Aare bridge(319 m)
A1 bridge(183 m)
Born line on left
Rothrist(407 m MSL)
55.2 Rothrist West
(55.2) New line on right
(49.2) Murgenthal tunnel(4,745 m)
Murgenthal(414 m)
Murgbrücke(223 m)
(48.2) Aegerten tunnel(657 m)
Roggwil-Wynau(432 m)
Aare Seeland mobil to Melchnau
(42.9) Langenthal tunnel(10,107 m)
Aare Seeland mobil to Niederbipp
Langenthal(472 m)
BLS AG to Huttwil and Wolhusen
(40.3) Thunstetten tunnel(889 m)
Bützberg, line moved away from former station
Badwald wildlife crossing(80 m)
(36.6) Gishübel tunnel(855 m)
36.0 Wanzwil
From Solothurn
36.0 Connection to Jura foot line
To Neuchâtel
From Solothurn
Herzogenbuchsee(464 m)
(33.1) Önzberg tunnel(3,173 m)
(30.1) Hersiwil tunnel(1,000 m)
Riedtwil(496 m)
(24.4) Neuschläg wildlife crossing(60 m)
Wynigen(527 m)
Burgdorf tunnel(510 m)
Grosse Emme-Brücke Burgdorf(55 m)
Burgdorf(533 m)
BLS AG to Solothurn
(19.3) Emmequerungs tunnel(1633 m)
BLS AG to Hasle-RüegsauLangnau/Thun
(18.4) Rüdtlingen tunnel (Chäs tunnel)(400 m)
Lyssach517 m
(17.1) Birchiwald wildlife crossing(60 m)
New line on left
Hindelbank516 m
12.3 Äsplibei Mattstetten
Grauholz Tunnel(6,295 m)
From Biel/Bienne
Grauholz line branches to the right
Worblaufen / Worblental(70/206 m)
To Thun
From Thun, Lötschberg and Interlaken
103.3 Bern Wylerfeld(Original Bern Station)
Aare River, Lorraine viaduct(1,150 m)
To Lausanne

The Mattstetten–Rothrist new line is Switzerland's fastest railway, running between Mattstetten and Rothrist. It forms most of the Olten–Bern railway line, which makes up over half of the trunk route connecting Switzerland's main city, Zürich and its capital, Bern. The new line opened on 12 December 2004, as the centrepiece of the Rail 2000 project, a comprehensive upgrade of Swiss railways.

The line is almost 52 kilometres (32 mi) long, with one branch. At Wanzwil junction, a 10-kilometre (6.2 mi) upgraded former local line to Solothurn connects to the rest of the Jura foot railway line (to Biel/Bienne, Neuchâtel, Yverdon and Geneva). The line has a maximum speed of 200 kilometres per hour (120 mph) and has reduced the travel time between major Swiss hubs of Bern, Basel and Zurich to under an hour, allowing the regular interval timetable (German: Taktfahrplan) to be realized, where both express and stopping trains on all lines arrive and leave on the hour at Bern and Zurich stations, allowing a great number of convenient connections. The line was the longest new line built in Switzerland since 1926. Construction began in April 1996[1] and the last piece of rail was put into place on 30 April 2004 at the Bern-Solothurn canton border at Inkwil on the connection to Solothurn.[2]

The Mattstetten–Rothrist was the first in Switzerland to put the European Train Control System (ETCS) into regular operation. This was originally planned for December 2004 but had to be repeatedly postponed because of technical problems.[3] On 2 July 2006 testing at night was started and trains ran from 22:30 at up to 160 km/h (99 mph) with ETCS; from 23 July testing started at 21:30.[4] Switching from conventional signalling with external signals to in-cab ETCS signalling was successively brought into operation and on 18 March 2007, trains began to run with full ETCS Level 2 signalling at up to 160 km/h (99 mph); since December 2007 they have run at up to 200 km/h (124 mph). The ETCS trackside equipment consists of a Radio Block Center, the required balises and an electronic interlocking.[5]


  1. ^ "Baubeginn" [Start of construction]. Eisenbahntechnische Rundschau (in German). 45 (10): 593. 1996. 
  2. ^ "Neubaustrecke Mattstetten–Rothrist fertiggestellt" [New build Mattsetten–Rothrist line completed]. Eisenbahntechnische Rundschau (in German). 53 (6): 593. 2004. 
  3. ^ "Vorerst nur auf Neubaustrecken" [For now on new-build lines only] (in German). Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 26 April 2007. 
  4. ^ "ETCS starts well". Today's Railways Europe (129): 57. September 2006. 
  5. ^ Trümpi, Arnold (6 June 2007). "ETCS Level 2: success for the Swiss Federal Railways". European Railway Review (2007 Issue 3): 98. Retrieved 1 June 2016.