Weinbergtunnel Zurich: Rail tunnel in environmentally sensitive location
The number of passengers using the Swiss rail system is growing steadily. A new, cross-city railway link through the centre of Zurich has created new capacity. The line, opened in 2014, comprises the new underground transit station below Zurich’s existing main station and, additionally, the 4.8 km Weinbergtunnel that cuts through an area of very difficult terrain.
Construction of the Weinberg tunnel connecting Zurich's main railway station with Oerlikon station is part of the new cross-city link and presented many challenges. This tunnel runs close to the surface just below the south side of Zurich station (a 150 year old, listed building, and its associated transport hub on the the 'Bahnhofquai') before continuing more deeply into the groundwater-saturated loose rock under the River Limmat. From there, it winds up through compact sedimentary rock (molasse) in two long curves as it heads towards Weinberg and passes below some extremely vibration-sensitive buildings, including University Hospital and SRF Radio. It ends its journey in a very confined space at the Oerlikon railway cutting.
Basler & Hofmann was the lead partner and project manager in the engineering consortium IG Zalo (Basler & Hofmann, Pöyry and SNZ). IG Zalo was responsible for the engineering design and construction management for Löwenstrasse station and the Weinbergtunnel.