Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sectors: Making your life easier, one platform at a time

Tired of getting on the train and finding out it is a 1st class section instead of a 2nd? Want to get on the right section the first time, every time? Boy do I have the answer for you.

Meet the 'Sektoren' map... or sectors map if you want me to translate. These maps will make your commuting life easier. I promise. Let me explain.

On the fancy new signs in the Bahnhof and at most stations in the Zurich area that have the new digital signs, the Sektoren information is displayed under the time and destination information. (BTW, I know these are not new, and the printed signs still abound. Look for them as printed maps at the Bahnhof for many of the longer distance trains...)

The Sektoren information tells you which sector (A,B,C, etc.) on the platform will have 1st class train cars and which will have 2nd. That way you can make sure you are in the sector that you need before the train arrives. Confused. Let me show you an example.

Take this photo below of the S9 sign, a train I frequent:

In this example, the train is going to be 2 platforms long. How do I know that? Because there is Sektor information above the B and C platforms and none above A. On this train there are two 1st class sections (see the number 1s?) and two 2nd class sections (there are 6 number 2s, so that means 2 big sections). So if you have a second class ticket, go ahead and get on in Sector B. There should be plenty of seats to choose from there. Just don't stand in Section A or you might be running to the train! Want another example? ...Ok.

In this example, the train will be 3 platforms long and each section has mixed cabins of first and second class. Easy peasy.

You can see where the sections start and stop using the signs on each platform, like this one:

In this picture from Urdorf Bahnhof, you can see that I am standing in the B section...

... so checking the map again, I know I will be able to
get a second class seat as there are plenty in B. And if I wanted a first class, I know it is a split section, within the B...

These maps are also available if you are getting on a train in which you have a reserved seat, as many times it will tell you which Sector to stand in for say compartment 104. Just look for 104 on the map instead of 1 or 2, and it will tell you which sector (A,B,C, D, etc.).

If the information is not on the digital sign, check around. There may be a printed sign somewhere with this information. Do check as it makes it much easier to see where you should be standing to make your boarding easy and efficient.

Good luck and let me know if you have these signs in your neck of the woods, too!
Living and Working in Switzerland, 12th Edition: A Survival Handbook. This is an essential for anyone thinking about living in Switzerland. Buy it now via Amazon UK or pre-order your copy today! Thank you for supporting Swisstory by shopping on Amazon.


Expat Traveler said...

These are so helpful when you have a big train to get on and you already know it could be full! I love the front for some reason..

Jay said...

Dear Jessica,

Your blog rocks.

Jessica said...

Dear Jay,

Thanks! That comment made my day!


ZüriHB said...

Sorry to correct you, but these signs only show 1st and 2nd class, and the big circles are not doors, but the locomotives, you can't enter there. As there is no (public) door.

And generally, from Monday till Friday, the trains are the same for each time, except if there are hiccups in the system or I overslept ;)

Jessica said...

Thanks for the tip, ZuriHB. I have updated the article regarding the fact those are not doors but the locomotivees. Thanks!


Contact me. | Advertise on Swisstory