Wednesday 18 January 2023

Zurich : Trams, Trans, Buses (2)

A Sample Tram

It would be ludicrously impossible to grasp the complexities, the comprehensiveness and the challenges of Zurich's public transport system in a few brief blogs. There is plenty on-line if you have the energy and determination to find it. ZVV have a comprehensive web site, not without its difficulties!

Tram 15 is short enough to understand without actually going there, so we start at its southern terminus, Bahnhof Stadelhofen. This is an S-Bahn station with plenty of services running over just two tracks!

At a rough guess that gives a train every two minutes! But fbb will explore further in a later blog. Three tram routes serve the station ...
... which is just inland from the water's edge.
The curved station is upper right and trams approach from over the river or along the east bank thereof but veering slightly inland.. There is a huge tram interchange, called Bellevue ...
... from where trams 8 (LIMNE GREEN), 11 (GREEN) and our chosen 15 (RED) wiggle round to the station. 8 and 11 pass by, but 15 has its terminal loop.
The 15 then proceeds northbound along the east bank of the Limmat ...
... avoiding historic buildings and errant pedestrians as it goes!
As we trundle swiftly northwards we soon come to another mega tram interchange called "Central".
The river is still on the left and and, not far across the bridge ...
... you will find the Hauptbahnhof, the central station. At this point, please remember that Google Streetview is often incomplete in Switzerland, so full viewing of the street is often not possible.

A street map may help. (click on the map to enlarge it)
Note, in passing, two railway tunnels which carry S-Bahn routes and the bridge which, with Swiss nomenclature originality, is call Bahnhofbrucke (Station Bridge).

The 15 moves on northwards into suburban apartment housing ...
... until reaching the next spectacular junction. This is Schafffhauserplatz
Here tram 7 (BLACK) leaves us and forks right, tram 11 (GREEN) rejoins us to fork left and tram 14 (BLUE) waves a fond farewell to 11 and joins 7 to fork right.

O.K. here it is on the map..
To complete the picture trolleybus 33 (PALE MUD) ...
... crosses at right angles to the tram stops. It will be fun (NOT!) if any of that overhead wiring gets damaged!

Our short-distance 15 has just one intermediate stop before it arrives at  Bucheggplatz. On the way we pass a five segment tram.
Bucheggplatz is another stunning interchange in the middle of a busy road junction with the world's largest collection of footbridges! (Exaggeration, fbb? Surely not!)
The 11 keeps going; our 15 has a turning circle ...
... and there are trolleybuses as well.
Plus, of course, yet more complicated wiring.

Just a warning. Because Google Streetview is incomplete, the route numbers may have changed. Is that trolleybus showing 12, T2 or 72? fbb is not sure.

Although the 15 is a short route it still has a high frequency. Here is the departure list from the southern terminus ...
... which shows every 7/8 minutes Monday to Friday daytime and every 10 elsewhere. But, showing true Swiss watchmaker's precision, the timetable ...
... shows every 7.5 minutes! fbb has no doubt that trams are timetabled accurately down to a 30 second interval.

And to conclude, but in no particular order, some rolling stock that you might have seen on the 15!

One car with pantograph ...
... articulated (sort of) two segment ...
... and some garish all-over advertising.
And another garish livery!
Of more historic interest is a postcard (age not known) showing a tram 15 northbound from its Stadelhofen terminus.
Most likely it was just approaching the "Central" stop.

More from Zurich tomorrow,

Puzzle Picture
The station is Bordesley in Birmingham and, yes, there is a station entrance there amid the West Midlands grime and gloom.
Here is a West Midlands Railway map showing Bordesley in faint print.
You might struggle to catch a train there as there is only one a week, on a Saturday.
You will note that, in order to promote this excellent service, the map is wrong.

Apparently, extra trains call/called there on footy days to serve matches at St Andrews stadium, home of Birmingham City.

Batteries Flat
A while back, fbb reported that Britishvolt had secured a loan to enable it to continue trading or, more accurately, to build its swish factory to start trading. You have to feel sorry for those who gave them the lolly, because ...
... the company has now gone bust!

 Next Zurich S-Bahn blog : Thursday 19th January 


  1. Andrew Kleissner18 January 2023 at 10:38

    There's a match on Saturday but are there trains? The football club's website gives info ... except that neither WMPTE nor Real Time Trains have any knowledge of them!

  2. It's on the relevant page of the TfWM timetable merely as a footnote without specifying which trains actually call.