Today, I learned that the sound of train announcements in Switzerland is based on the abbreviation of the national company.

In German-speaking countries, musical notes have slightly different names compared to English. The note ‘B’ in English is called ‘H’ in German, and ‘B’ is used for B-flat instead. Additionally, E-flat is referred to as ‘Es’.

The abbreviations for the company, are SBB (German), CFF (French), and FFS (Italian). Therefore, the chimes you hear at the stations before announcements reflect this. In the German-speaking parts of the country, the chimes are “E-flat, B-flat, B-flat” (Es-B-B). In the French-speaking part, they are “C-F-F,” and in the Italian part, they are “F, F, E-flat” (F-F-Es). The chime in the trains changes accordingly when the train crosses into a different language region.

You can hear the three different jingles in this video.

This is something I had never noticed before, and I find it awesome.



@alienlebarge this is so cool. Now I know that I’m going to take my family to Switzerland, I’m going to cross the country on a train and I’m going to explain to them this beauty about the chimes and they will look at me like I’m nuts and I will show them this post and I’m going to be the happiest guy on Earth.