Panorama cars included in an MGB consist - Date/Photographer unknown.
12 December 2004
MGB Adjusts Schedule
Brig-Visp Switzerland - The upcoming schedule change on 12 December 2004 brings important changes to public transport in the Upper Valais. The new arrivals of the SBB and BLS trains into the Valais gives the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn a big challenge. The route map of the entire MGB network had to be adapted to the new SBB timetable and tailored to the bus line terminals.
Better Connections in Brig
On 12 Dec 2004, the first stage of the project "Rail 2000" was opened. The associated timetable change is the biggest change to public transport since introduction of a synchronized timetable in 1982. The trains from Bern to Brig meet at a new place. This made extensive adjustments to the departure times of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn necessary. The trains of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn running from Zermatt to Brig have a new direction in and around Goms. The waiting times for travelers coming from Bern to Brig are shortened at Goms by 22 minutes and from Zermatt to 3 minutes. Waiting times from Brig to Zermatt are reduced by 4 minutes and Goms by 20 minutes. For years the frequently expressed desire to make the connections shorter has been complied with.
Matter and Goms Getting Closer
A significant improvement was achieved on your own network in Brig. While travelers from Zermatt to Brig have had to wait almost an hour for the next train to Goms the connection between Matter and Goms has been optimized. Since the merger of the FO and BVZ into the MGB, for now, the schedule is complete. Only 4 minutes of waiting time exists between the arrival at Brig from Zermatt in the onward journey towards Goms. For travelers from the Goms the train to Zermatt is within 5 minutes of the previous scheduled time of 55 minutes.
Longer Wait Times Benefit the NEAT Construction Site in Visp
Shorter waiting times in Brig, in virtually all directions, arise from the timetable change in Visp where there are longer waiting times. Especially during the construction phase of the new NEAT station until 2007. However, this will benefit the passengers. The longer time between arrival and departure of trains to the port will be reached in the event of late running trains. Another advantage is that the first train from Zermatt arriving around 05:55 in the morning will leave around 05:30. This ensures the connection in Visp at 07:06 in the direction of Lausanne, Geneva, and Geneva Airport and 07:13 in the direction of Brig for Bern, Zurich HB, and Zurich-Airport. Thanks to the connection in Visp/Brig, numerous flights from Geneva and Zurich are now achieved without an overnight stay in Geneva or Zurich.
Apprentices and Students Can No Longer Sleep
Other timetable changes concern mainly the morning and evening student trains. Instead of leaving around 05:55, the "Schülerzug" from Zermatt to Brig leaves at 06:08 arriving at 07:36. The evening "Schülerzug" from Brig to Zermatt leaves unchanged at 16:23 hours. In Goms, the "Schülerzug" of the upper forest at Brig, starts in the morning 7 minutes later than before. It now leaves Oberwald at 06:16 hours. Arrival in Brig is at 07:19 instead of 07:30 hours. A significant change is the evening "Schülerzug" in the direction of Brig. For technical reasons, instead of a train on school days, a bus from Brig to Goms is scheduled to run. Departure is at 16:15 from the Brig train station.
Former Shuttle Trains from Tasch to Zermatt
The first shuttle train on the Tasch to Zermatt route now leaves earlier by 10 minutes, namely 05:50 instead of at 06:00 hours. Otherwise, the trains run in both directions as usual in 20 minute intervals. The last train from Zermatt to Tasch departs at 23:40 hours. On Christmas, New Years, and on the weekend of 28 to 29 Jan 2005, night trains will operate until March 2005 at 00:20, 01:20, and 02:20 hours. From Tasch to Zermatt at 00:05, 01:05, and 02:05 from Zermatt to Tasch.
Car Transport: On Weekends Every Half Hour
The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn runs car trains through the Furka Base Tunnel from 12 Dec 2004 all year from Monday to Friday at 13:00 and at 10:00 every half hour. This extension is due to the approximately 5,000 vehicles per day during the summer months avoiding a trip over Furka Pass, a larger proportion than used the rails before.
Gommer Early Train Runs Later
Due to a timetable change Die Post has decided to run postal shipments in Goms by road and no longer by Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. Since the first train in the morning, originally called the mail train, was planned this change in the delivery of mail also affects the MGB schedule from 12 Dec 2004. The departure times change to the upper forest. Oberwald and Andermatt times remain unchanged. This shortens the travel time from Brig to Oberwald and Andermatt by 25 minutes.