Image courtesy of Blick.ch
Switzerland today celebrated the opening of the eight-year Durchmesserlinie project. The project will boost capacity by avoiding the requirement for east-west trains to reverse at Zurich Central Station. The completion of the project was celebrated by a ceremony marking the completion of Phase 2 yesterday.
Phase 1 of the 9.6km Durchmesserlinie included the 4.8km S-shaped Weinburg Tunnel between Zurich Central Station and Oerlikon. This Phase opened in June 2014.
Phase 2 comprised the 394m-long Kohlendreieck and the 1,156m Letzigraben flyovers. They allow long-distance trains to pass over the main line on the north side of the approaches to the Central Station to the Weinberg Tunnel on the south side without disrupting movements.
Long-distance trains will start running on the new line in December. The SBB asserts that it will be the greatest restructuring of services since 2004 when the Bahn 2000 timetable was initiated. The Phase 2 line will run 24 long-distance and S-Bahn (city centre and suburban rapid transit trains) trains every hour.
Extra station works are scheduled for completion by mid-2017.
Planning on the project started in 2001. It cost a total of SFr 2,068billion, with the Canton of Zurich paying one third of the cost and the federal government investing the remainder. The completion means that Zurich Central Station now has sufficient volume to meet expected demand.
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