Timely Trains

There’s a good reason the Swiss are known for watch-making. They are überpünktlich (link to Doug’s Blog with great thoughts on the subject). Over punctual. The Swiss French a tad less, but since the majority of the country is Swiss German, their influence goes a long way. A loooooong way.

Take trains, for example. They run on time. TO THE SECOND. I recall sitting in a regional train waiting for it to depart, which it was set to do at 17 minutes past the hour. When the second hand hit 12, the minute hand switched to :17, and the train took off. Literally all at once.

If a train is late, even by a couple minutes, the delay will be announced with apologies. My favorite time to people-watch is that rare occasion when a train is late but there is no announcement. Toes go a-tappin’, and there is a lot of huffing/puffing/sighing and looking at watches. Swiss. trains. should. not. be. late.

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3 thoughts on “Timely Trains

  1. Hey, I’m also an American expat, living in Sweden. *waves* I wish the trains here were as punctual. They’re pretty good when they run, but they’re awful about being realistic when there are delays and when the next train will actually arrive. It’s happened too many times where I’m waiting for the train and there will be an update that it’s running a few minutes late. Okay, no problem. Those few minutes pass and then there’s a new update, just a few more minutes. This sometimes continues for about 45 minutes before the train actually gets there. :/ Also, trains get canceled a lot when the snow arrives. You’d think they’d have a handle on that, being so far north and all, but it invariably happens every year. 🙂

    Wow, long comment there. 😛

    • I just realized that this post comes off more snarky than I’d like. Just want to add that most of the time the trains run really well (it’s just more memorable when they don’t). I very much appreciate the Swedish transport system hauling my bulk around as needed. 😉

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