But A Relative Newcomer
Thursday 19 January 2023
Stunning Swiss S-Bahn
The Zurich S-Bahn (suburban network) did not launch until 1990, although some of the routes had been operated as part of Swiss Railways network for many years. But the change was far more than just a rebranding. Its origins lay in the desire for an underground network; but the aspirations were dashed when a referendum rejected the idea.
Switzerland is run with frequent referenda in which voters have a real influence on "political" and financial decisions. (Sounds a good idea?)
Although traditional underground had been given the thumbs down, the plan was to build three tunnels below city streets. These would overcome the big rail problem in Zurich, namely that all trains had to run into and "reverse" out of the dead end terminus at Hauptbahnhof, hence the multiple junctions revealed yesterday.
The first was reasonably straightforward in concept. The independent SZU railway (Sihltal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn) was extended from its rather uninspiring terminus at Selnau ...
This was a slow route and not commensurate with Swiss-slick and efficient S-Bahn. So new tunnels were dug to four underground platforms at Hauptbahnhof ...
As part of the initial plan a third tunnel was built under the Zurichberg hills to link the S-Bahn more directly with services to the north and east. The three tunnels are shown dotted RED on the map below.GREY) and its station (located before the rails plunged into the tunnel) ...
... were closed. The former station is now a private dwelling.BLACK), which we met yesterday at Scaffhauserplatz (remember?), will take you into central Zurich as an alternative to he S-Bahn; whilst tram 12 (LIGHT BUE) will take you via two other station interchanged (Wallsellen and Glattbrugg) to the airport.
Zurich's network continues to expand and in 2014 a FOURTH tunnel opened.
The Weinberg tunnel was opened on 14 June 2014, and forms part of the Altstetten–Zürich–Oerlikon cross-city line, also known as the Durchmesserlinie Zürich, which also includes new elevated approach tracks from Altstetten to Zürich Hauptbahnhof, and the rebuilding of Oerlikon station with two additional tracks and platforms. At Zürich Hauptbahnhof, the tunnel serves a pair of underground island platforms, with four platform tracks, numbered as Hauptbahnhof tracks 31 to 34 but sometimes referred to as Löwenstrasse station. These platforms are linked to the station's other platforms and facilities, both underground and surface, by a complex of subways and shopping malls.
This route carries "intercity" trains as well as S-Bahn; a 4 minute video.So that's another four platforms underground at Hauptbahnhof, making a total of ten.
Tomorrow, fbb will explore the magnificent upgrade of the station at Stadelhofen and meet some transport oddities.
What is going on here?
Next Zurich blog : Friday January 20th