High-resolution seismic tomography at local and regional scales requires large and consistent sets of arrival-time data. Algorithms combining accurate picking with an automated quality classification can be used for repicking waveforms and compiling large arrival-time data sets suitable for tomographic inversion. S-wave velocities represent a key parameter for petrological interpretation, improved hypocenter determination, as well as for seismic hazard models. In our approach, we combine three commonly used phase detection and picking methods in a robust S-wave picking procedure. Information from the different techniques provides an in situ estimate of timing uncertainty and of the reliability of the automatic phase identification. Automatic picks are compared against manually picked reference picks of selected earthquakes in the Alpine region. The average accuracy of automatic picks and their classification is comparable with the reference picks, although a higher number of picks is downgraded to lower quality classes by the automatic picker. In the production-mode, we apply the picker to a data set of 552 earthquakes in the Alps recorded at epicentral distances ≤150 km. The resulting data set includes about 2500 S phases with an upper error bound of 0.27 sec.