The SBB want to sell their traction current more expensive.
Pascal TischhauserDeputy Head of Policy
The SBB wanted to gild their electricity. Their goal was to resell the traction current, which they mostly produce themselves, at twice the price. Consequence: The vast majority of train journeys and freight transport would have become more expensive. The federal government has pulled the emergency brake.
Currently, the SBB under boss Vincent Ducrot (60) can sell the traction current for 10.5 centimes per kilowatt hour to other railways. As Blick knows, they would have liked to snag 20.5 centimes. The SBB confirm that in August they asked for an increase of ten centimes for the next two years.
Trains are getting more expensive
According to the Federal Office of Transport (BAV), an increase in the price of traction current by one centime leads to a ten percent increase in electricity costs. If this is extrapolated to the total cost of a train, it would be one percent more expensive. With ten centimes more, the trains would have become ten percent more expensive.
Stefan Meierhans (54) also entered the race for the costs. For the price monitor, it is clear that a sharp increase would have an impact on the wallets of passengers and transport companies. Even the SBB admit that.
In the meantime, the state railways themselves have noticed that the demand was excessive. In the summer, the extreme drought led to lower energy production, which is why electricity had to be bought on the market at high prices to keep the trains rolling, they explain. A loss resulted, which is not allowed under the Railway Act.
In the meantime, the situation has calmed down and the SBB have lowered their demands. In the meantime, there was still talk of five to six centimes, but these are also off the track: the federal solution is significantly lower, according to the BAV.
Contrary to the climate goals
90 percent of the SBB traction power comes from hydroelectric power – mainly from our own systems. In addition, there are supply contracts with partners. The additional costs for SBB should be limited over the course of the year.
It is all the more incomprehensible that the SBB raised the demand at all. The President of the National Council’s Transport Commission and the Alpine Initiative, Jon Pult (38, SP), warns that freight transport by rail should not be disadvantaged compared to road due to the increase in price. This runs counter to the Swiss climate goals.
And for the Uri Council of States and President of the Association of the Landing Economy (VAP), Josef Dittli (65, FDP), the SBB’s approach is not expedient. He shows understanding for a moderate increase, because diesel and thus road transport have also become more expensive. “But on the road, the market economy has priority, on the rails there is a monopoly.”
Less but longer
According to research, the BAV will allow SBB a small price increase next week. Horrendous heating costs, inflation and health insurance premiums are already a heavy burden on citizens. From the point of view of the federal government, the SBB should not fleece people unnecessarily.
But the SBB won’t give up that easily: Instead of the strong increase, limited to two years, they have now implemented a longer-lasting price increase.