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Dear reader,

Shortly before the summer break, the competition commissions in both Switzerland and Germany approved SNCF’s participation as a shareholder in BLS Cargo. The transaction was concluded this week and as a result, nothing stands in the way of future collaboration between ourselves and SNCF and its Captrain subsidiaries. We very much look forward to our shared future, which will enable customers to take advantage of the best possible fully-inclusive offers.

Wishing you a very pleasant summer,


Dirk Pfister
Head of Product Management/Sales


» 1. Competition authorities approve entry of SNCF into BLS Cargo
» 2. Lötschberg base tunnel - 10 years full-scale operation
» 3. BLS Cargo expertise in demand
» 4. BLS inherits BLS Cargo locomotive
» 5. Successful ‚transport logistic 2017


1. Competition authorities approve entry of SNCF into BLS Cargo

The competition authorities of Switzerland and Germany both approved SNCF Logis-tics’ acquisition of 45 percent of the shares of BLS Cargo. The new partnership between the two rail freight companies starts officially beginning of July. The acquisition of an equity interest by SNCF Logistics in BLS Cargo was commu-nicated in February 2017 and was under the conditional approval of the competition authorities in Switzerland and Germany. Both authorities now approved the acquisition of 45 percent of shares of BLS Cargo by SNCF Logistics. The shareholding of BLS Cargo consists as from July of 52 percent BLS AG, 45 percent SNCF Logistics and 3 percent Ambrogio Group (IMT). Cooperation between SNCF, its Captrain subsidiaries and BLS Cargo will strengthen the successful business model of the parties on the North/South freight transport corridor. The partners will intensify collaboration in cross-border transport, mutually benefit from the partnership, and present international and consistent services on the market.


2. Lötschberg base tunnel - 10 years full-scale operation

On the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Lötschberg base tunnel, BLS took guests from the world of politics, business and public administration on 23rd June 2017 on a guided tour of the 35 km long tunnel system. It was opportunity not only to review the past, but above all, to look to the future and to highlight the common objective of further upgrading of the tunnel. BLS commenced operations through the tunnel on 15th June 2007. Since then, it has become an indispensable part of the Swiss transport landscape.  To date, 314’814 trains have passed through the tunnel.

» more information

(left to right: Dirk Stahl, CEO BLS Cargo; Bernard Guillelmon, CEO BLS AG; Barbara Egger-Jenzer, Bern executive council; Viola Amherd, member of National Council, president Lötschberg committee; Jacques Melly, Valais government; Fabio Regazzi member of National Council, Beni Kunz, CEO Hupac)

See a time-lapse recording of the jubilee locomotive being given a new livery » here


3. BLS Cargo expertise in demand

Over recent months, BLS Cargo CEO Dirk Stahl has attended a number of conferences and symposia, where he was able to offer his expertise whilst promoting the concerns of the rail freight industry.

At the meeting of transport ministers from countries on the Rotterdam-Genua freight corridor in Leipzig at the end of May, he focussed primarily on the importance of the European Train Control System (ETCS). He recalled that the aim was to introduce a standard system throughout Europe, though at present we fall considerably short of this. BLS Cargo has been investing in ETCS equipment for its locomotive fleet since 2005, but forecasts show that Europe’s infrastructure in 2023, almost 20 years later, will not be fully equipped everywhere.
At a forum hosted by the Swiss Shippers Association (VAP), Dirk Stahl applauded the political and infrastructural steps taken by Switzerland to promote the transport of freight by rail. He also underlined the necessity for harmonization and simplification of the basic parameters for freight traffic and for securing the necessary train paths.

BLS Cargo CEO Dirk Stahl at the VAP panel discussion

BLS Cargo CEO Dirk Stahl at the VAP panel discussion


4. BLS inherits BLS Cargo locomotive

In June, BLS Cargo presented its 4-axle loco Re 425 165 to the BLS heritage foundation.  
The locomotive was built by Swiss Locomotive & Machine Works and Brown Boveri (now ABB) in 1966. It weighs 80 tons, has a top speed of 140 kph and a 4980kw power rating. Prior to ‘retirement’ the locomotive covered more than four million kilometres, the equivalent of orbiting the earth around 100 times.

The locomotive is on display to the public at the foundation’s exhibition in Burgdorf.

» More information about the BLS foundation

BLS Cargo locomotive Re 425 165 now belongs to BLS’s heritage

BLS Cargo locomotive Re 425 165 now belongs to BLS’s heritage (picture: Thomas Büchler, BLS foundation)


5. Successful transport logistic 2017

We look back on a very successful trade fair in Munich. It is always an intense event, but the programme this year was a particularly full one. Once again, our customary raclette meal late one afternoon brought back fond memories or, for those who didn’t know this traditional Swiss cheese dish, a sense of curiosity. Numerous impressions, fruitful discussions and new contacts confirmed our well-established market position, so we are already looking forward to the next edition of transport logistic’ in 2019.

BLS Cargo-Standcrew 2017

BLS Cargo-Standcrew 2017





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