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These S-Bahn connections have been available since 2035 in Zurich

From 2035, there will likely be more trains in the Canton in Zurich, and usually every 15 minutes. Must be completed not only large projects Brüttener Tunnel and Stadelhofen, but it takes much more.

Stefan Hotz

Stadelhofen Station is a bottleneck in public transport in Zurich. (Archive: Christoph Ruckstuhl / NZZ)

Stadelhofen Station is a bottleneck in public transport in Zurich. (Archive: Christoph Ruckstuhl / NZZ)

In 20 years, 136 trains will leave the main train station in Zurich for one hour, at least every second. Winterthur, with 48 hours per hour, will have the same amount of traffic as the main railway station in Vienna's metropolis today. Between Zurich's main and Winterthur there are 20 trains per hour in each direction on different routes, one every 3 minutes on average, the fastest is only 15 minutes.

The Federal Council wants to invest about 11.9 billion francs in the Swiss railway network by 2035. In late October, he sent an investment program to the Swiss parliament. So far, significant costs and big projects have been mentioned above.

A good portion of nearly 3.8 billion francs should be invested in the canton in Zurich. Partner participants, Federal Transport Office, SBB and ZVV, presented for the first time on Thursday evening about 150 government representatives in detail on the specific improvements that railways can expect.

Suburban train evolved

  • It's in the foreground Increasing capacity, not speed. This is also necessary. The federal government expects rail traffic to increase by 40 percent by 2040. ZVV expects the Canton of Zurich (base 2010) with a population increase of 33 percent with an increase in public transport by 45 percent. However, 2035 is just the beginning, the first phase towards S-Bahn 2G (2nd generation), ZVV and SBB are evolving together for years. Their principle is that in a narrow agglomeration, a fast transit rail serves all stations in close proximity. Trains from the outer canton keep close to the city, as today S 5, S 7 or S 12 only at the main railway stations.
  • The basic structure is according to the main planner of the ZVV, Dominik Brühwiler quarter of an hour on almost the entire network. This also applies to intercity traffic, between Zurich and Winterthur, even twice. Four trains per hour drive through the airport, but between Bassersdorf and Tössmühle through the Brüttener Tunnel, four more times over Wallisellen, but without interruption, as well as through the new tunnel. This train, which travels from Oerlikon to Dietlikon back to the 19th century main line, lasts only 15 minutes, which is 5 minutes less than the S12, today's fastest connection.

12 trains per hour in Uster

According to the ZVV planner Christian Vogt, the Brüttener tunnel will be used well with 28 trains per hour per direction. Completely new connections, such as the Tangentiallinien, do not provide a concept that would encourage a growing rail network with the words Brühwiler. New from Oberland is a new line without stopping between Uster and Oerlikon. In Uster's journey, instead of today, they drive 12 trains in Zurich every hour. The speedy connection between Oberland and Zurich-Nord, as well as the heavy traffic on the route between Zurich and Winterthur, should help alleviate the bottlenecks of Stadelhofen.

But in the rest of the canton, rail travel is more attractive. Requirements such as quarter-hour in Wipkingen and Bassersdorf can be met. Wädenswil gets a new station at the University of Applied Sciences, and the station is being built just as new. On the other hand, new stations in Winterthur Grüze-Nord and Dietikon Silbern are not included in the program. They will make sure they do not forget, Vogt promised.

Pre-projects were soon completed

Until then, the loan must first be approved and built a lot. Now it is worthwhile that the then parliamentarians from Zurich managed to finance the planning of the Brüttener tunnel and the extension of Stadelhofen through the current phase of expansion in 2025, when Zurich was otherwise empty. In both cases, according to Reto von Salis of SBB Infrastructure, the ideal project is in progress and will be completed in 2019 or 2020.

So far, it's known that Stadelhofen, about 35 meters on the hill, will get an underground fourth track, which borders the Zürichberg tunnel and enters another tunnel with a strip about three kilometers long to Tiefenbrunnen. The new platform gets four accesses from the basement.

Strong stress on Perrons

How to build a new tunnel in the middle of the city? According to the manager of the SBB, Marc Weber-Lenkel von Tiefenbrunnen, he will be driven forward. But like the construction of S-Bahn 30 years ago, two additional shafts should be lowered vertically: one at Merkurplatz at the height of the Zürichberg tunnel, the other directly below the main buildings of the University and ETH. This shaft at the point where the fourth track will be separated, is located north of the existing tunnel grave. Due to its construction, the SBB created a further south on the shaft, which was later expanded into a military bunker.

The problem is more crowded on the stations. Therefore, at Stadelhofen station, the central perimeter extends about 1.5 meters, slowly pulling tracks 1 and 2 and taking a few inches to the wall next to the track 3. Ultimately, this adds about 280 square meters of extra space. However, this only happens when the new, fourth track works because less than three tracks Stadelhofen can not work.

According to project director Gerry Steiner, it is expected that the Brüttener tunnel in the length of 8.7 kilometers is drilled from Dietlikon, and the branch to Bassersdorf is mined. It's far more than a tunnel. Thus, the entire rail system is separated from the Tössmühle portal to the Winterthur train station, as the last years between the Weinberg Tunnel and the Oerlikon Railway Station. For both structures, the first preliminary work from 2023 is possible, the main works can begin at best around 2025. The Brüttener tunnel then lasts 8 years to complete, the expansion of Stadelhofen, more than 10 years ago, due to the complexity.

Where to go with extra trains?

The rails, tunnels and enlarged stations are not enough. According to Christian Vogt, it takes 60 additional pieces of 150 meters in length to handle traffic. The 29 two-seater Stadler Rails trucks, which came into operation since 2011, cost about 600 million francs. Shopping causes a problem.

Maintenance does not only require additional service objects. SBB and ZVV are faced with a real problem of parking. 60 new compositions along with access roads led to the need for 10 kilometers of sides. One search for places, said Vogt, these areas are absolutely necessary for the work of the future S-Bahn.

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