Swiss Central Railway

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The Swiss Central Railway (German: Schweizerische Centralbahn, SCB) was a Swiss railway company from 1853 to 1902.

In 2005 the name Centralbahn (spelt as Zentralbahn) was revived for new railway company created by the merger of the Luzern-Stans-Engelberg-Bahn and the Brünigbahn. The name Centralbahn AG is also used by a Basel-based private rail company, which operates some passenger charter and freight operations.


The Schweizerische Centralbahn was established on 4 February 1853 by Johann Jakob Speiser, Achilles Bischoff and Karl Geigy in Basel. The railway connected Basel via the Hauenstein line via Liestal to Olten. In order to overcome the barrier of the Hauenstein range the SCB had to build the Hauenstein Tunnel between Läufelfingen and Trimbach. It constructed its major junction at Olten, which is the location of "milestone 0", the point from which all Swiss rail distances are measured. From Olten the midland line connected to Bern and Thun, the Olten–Brugg line connected with the Swiss Northeastern Railway's (German: Schweizerische Nordostbahn, NOB) line to Zürich, the Jura foot line connected to Biel and the Olten–Lucerne railway line connected to Lucerne.[1]

The company linked the Swiss and French rail networks in 1860 and connected with the German network in 1873. Between 1871 to 1875, the SCB and the NOB jointly built the Bötzberg Railway from Pratteln to Brugg and from 1873 to 1882 they extended their joint line to the Gotthard Railway as the Aargauische Südbahn from Rupperswil and Brugg to Immensee. In 1902 the SCB's 333 kilometer network was integrated into the Swiss Federal Railways.[1]


  1. ^ a b Bärtschi, Hans-Peter. "Schweizerische Centralbahn (SCB)" (in German). Swiss Historical Dictionary. Retrieved 19 April 2009.