BERN, SWITZERLAND – The main reaction was somber silence when the train conductor announced that the train from Lucerne would be arriving 14 minutes late in Bern. In German and French he said that the lateness was due to a “person incident” rail-speak for an accident that is most likely a suicide, someone jumping or falling onto the rails.
This morning it happened in Zofingen, a place on the line for several fast trains.
The three-hour direct train from Lucerne to Geneva airport usually offers one of those trips that makes you appreciate the efficiency of the Swiss rail system. The only people who grumbled this morning were foreign tourists, since the train announcement in English said only we would be late, not why, in order for the conductor to have time to explain that connecting trains in Bern had not been able to wait, and to list all the options for connections.
The CFF rail company doesn’t publish the number of “person incidents” each year, but for they are more frequent than saddened train travelers would like. Our thoughts went to the person in Zofingen this morning.