Bernese Oberland Railway, achieving success

Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG earned a transport revenue of CHF 17.3 million (+8.1%) and an annual profit of CHF 2.7 million in 2017. In the reporting year, the depot in Zweilütschinen and the new rolling stock were successfully put into operation.

The Bernese Oberland Railway (BOB), which transports its passengers from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald, generated a transport revenue of 13.9 million Swiss francs in 2017, especially thanks to strong traffic to the Jungfraujoch, an increase of 11.8 per cent compared to the record set the previous year. The Schynige Platte Railway generated 3.4 million Swiss francs, a 4.7 per cent lower transport revenue than in the 2016 season. In the reporting year, 117,500 visitors travelled on the Schynige Platte railway (to Schynige Platte), which corresponds to a decrease of 2,000 people. The visitor frequency is therefore only slightly behind the strong previous year.

Important renovations
Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG is in an intensive phase of development. The rolling stock for the BOB, which was produced by the Stadler company for 77 million Swiss francs, was gradually delivered starting at the end of 2016. In February 2017, the first of the six new three-part trainsets and three low-floor units were put into operation. By the middle of the year, the gradual introduction of the other trains followed. Thanks to the expansion of the depot, which was inaugurated in the middle of February 2017, the new rolling stock can be maintained directly on site at Zweilütschinen. 

Amounts in CHF (1000s)

2017

2016

Change

in per cent

Transport revenue, Berner Oberland-Bahn

13,870

12,408

11.8%

Transport revenue, Schynige Platte-Bahn

3,384

3,550

-4.7%

Compensation

16,849

12,855

31.1%

Totaloperating income

40,015

35,305

13.3%

Total operating expenses

-27,873

-26,598

4.8%

EBITDA

12,141

8,707

39.4%

Annual profit

2,748

1,532

79.4%

Outlook

125 years of mountain railway history
The Schynige Platte Railway opened in 1893 and celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2018. It is the only daily operating railway in Switzerland with vehicles from the early years of 1909-1914. Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG is using the 125th anniversary as an occasion to celebrate its traditional railway. At the start of the season, the Belle Epoque association from Kandersteg will arrive on Saturday, 26 May 2018. All visitors also travelling on this date to the Schynige Platte in clothes from the Wilhelminian period will pay 10 Swiss francs for the return trip, exactly the price from the opening year 1893.

Further anniversary activities are planned, such as a special offer for locals in June, as well as the opening of a new circular route to the Alpine Garden on Schynige Platte in the summer of 2018. As a further highlight, steam locomotive number 5 will run the route from 16 June to 1 September 2018 on a total of six Saturdays. The annual general meeting of Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG will be held on Friday, 1 June at the Berghotel Schynige Platte in honour of the anniversary.

Ready for the V-Cableway
As a strategic partner in the V-Cableway Project, Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG drove forward the planning of its sub-project over the last few years. It expects to receive planning permission from the Federal Office of Transport for Rothenegg station at the end of May 2018, as part of the planning permission for the entire V-Cableway Project. This means that the new station with direct access to the planned Grindelwald Grund terminal can be put into operation at the same time as the new 10-passenger Grindelwald-Männlichen gondola cableway in December 2019.

The Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG annual report is published at the following link: www.jungfrau.ch/business-report-bob-2017/.