Crossing Borders with Alstom's ETCS: the Zurich to Munich Connection

Imagine being able to travel through three countries in just three and a half hours, all while generating minimal CO2 emissions.

Thanks to Alstom's ETCS Baseline 3 implementation, this is now possible on the route from Zurich to Munich. The benefits of digital signalling for rail operators are clear: attractive international connections, significantly reduced travel times, and increased capacity of up to 35% through a higher frequency of trains.

While passengers may not be aware of the technology behind it, they will certainly appreciate the shorter travel times. This breakthrough is a decisive step towards encouraging more people to choose train travel as a sustainable mode of transportation. Discover the success story of Alstom's ETCS technology on the EuroCity-Express.

  • 70%
    of worldwide on-board solutions made by Alstom
  • >20,000
    on-board units
  • 200
    vehicle types

"Thanks to ETCS, railways will also be the mode of transport of the next 100 years."

Daniel Luescher
Project Manager ETCS, Alstom Switzerland

Digitalisation of the Zurich-Munich connection

Passengers traveling between Munich and Zurich now enjoy a more efficient and reliable service thanks to Alstom's innovative technology. By implementing the European Traffic Control System (ETCS) and state-of-the-art signalling technology on the vehicle, journey times have been reduced by 30 minutes. The improved service now features 6 new trains per day and direction, enhancing passenger comfort and reliability.

  • 6
    new trains per day and direction
  • <30 min
    travel time reduced by 30 minutes
  • ≥ 35%
    up to 35% more capacity

Capacity, efficiency and reliability

The Munich-Zurich connection has achieved a remarkable improvement in journey time through the use of state-of-the-art equipment and the digital uniform European signalling standard ETCS, which is already widely in use in Austria and Switzerland.

The line has been upgraded and equipped with balises in the border areas to allow for the dynamic transition between countries. There is no extended stop at the borders to switch from one national system to the other. The onboard ETCS solution from Alstom does the change automatically while the train is running - crossing borders on rail has never been this easy. Alstom's onboard computer processes the data received at lightning speed, eliminating the need for signals on the track. This leads to increased efficiency and reliability, with an increase in capacity on the converted lines. 

Alstom's Astoro-ETR610 train is truly European: Germany, Austria and Switzerland are connected on the Munich-Bregenz-Zurich route, and thanks to the upgrade to Baseline 3, a dynamic transition is possible that creates a smooth passover between the train control environment of the European countries. As a next step, the dynamic transition will also be implemented on routes to Italy. 


Whether you're a regular commuter or a tourist exploring the beauty of Europe, Alstom's ETCS technology is paving the way for a smarter, faster, and more sustainable future of rail travel.