As is well known, punctuality is part of good manners in Switzerland, especially in public transport. Even the country's largest public transport operator by far — SBB — can boast a punctuality rate of 91.9 per cent (evaluation 2021). This figure is all the more impressive when you know that a train that arrives at its destination more than three minutes later than planned is immediately classified as late by the SBB. Other countries have far greater tolerances here and nevertheless have much lower punctuality rates.
#HERTZ BUSINESS WITH SERSA SWITZERLAND
These sparks stand for punctuality
Thousands of trains travel on the Swiss rail network every day. The maintenance of the tracks is the responsibility of Sersa Switzerland, among others, whose professionals often take care of the necessary maintenance and extension work at night. Because much of the work has to be carried out in remote locations, a car is indispensable. For the punctual execution of all orders, the company uses rental cars from Hertz.
What makes it possible for the railway in Switzerland to be so punctual? There are countless little cogs that have to interact perfectly. For one thing, a lot depends on the timetable, which is calculated down to the smallest detail. In addition, there are numerous dedicated employees in various functions and areas — from the marshalling yard to the engine driver's cab to the control centre — without whose professionalism such fabulous figures would be unimaginable. And, of course, reliable rolling stock is needed, i.e. trains, which are also procured and maintained by professionals.
Another key component for the punctuality of our railways is the rail network. So that it always facilitates smooth rail traffic despite the immense loads, maintenance, repair and renewal work is in principle continuous. This work is often carried out in the background or, more accurately, in the dark, which is why only a few people notice it. "It is somewhat our fate that we and our work are only perceived as a side note, if at all," says Rolf von Känel. He works for Sersa Group AG (Switzerland), the largest railways contractor for the maintenance and expansion of the rail network in Switzerland.
Rolf von Känel coordinates the work assignments of Sersa employees for railway operators and thus has daily contact with the professionals. "But I never have to comfort them because they are just the hidden heroes, so to speak," he says with a smile. Those who work in this sector value the exceptionally good teamwork and the fact that they can see what they have achieved. And of course, it also helps to enjoy working at night. "For safety reasons, our work mainly takes place when as few trains as possible are running," explains Rolf von Känel, and adds that there is also something very satisfying about this night work, because "after all, we have time off when the others are working."