Slicing a few minutes off a train connection here and there can add up.
When it comes to Zürich's main station with its thousands of daily train arrivals and departures, it adds up to a lot. And according to unconfirmed sources, one of Switzerland's largest construction projects in years was devised on a napkin!
This June, the first part of the mega project was commissioned: The 5 km Weinberg tunnel between Oerlikon and Zürich, as well as the underground Löwenstrasse station. For the first time, there will be a nonstop train connection from Oerlikon to Zürich.
Time Savings for Everyone
For anyone who has ever traveled from ZRH airport directly to the city, the Durchmesserlinie tunnel means a time savings of up to nine minutes. And for all the communities along the left hand side of Lake Zürich, the new tunnel and train station are the first steps to a future quarter-hour connection.
Below are some impressions of the new station which was being built without anyone really noticing. The crew of up to 1000 construction workers was aptly called the "Orange Heroes" during the opening speech by Zürich's mayor, Mrs. Corine Mauch...
But spending 2 billion ("2 Milliarden") francs just to save time is so Swiss though, right? That may be the case. But I regard it as a long-term commitment to public transportation over individual car commuting.
The Zürich commuter train network is a success story throughout. Demand for public transportation has been growing by 150 percent since 1990, resulting in a daily throughput of 400'000 passengers per day.
I will personally be seeing the benefits of these enhancements as my commuting time (supposedly) is cut by several minutes. If it were not for the frequent delays lately, I could be slicing four minutes off my commute by zipping through the new Durchmesserlinie:
Train Ride through Zürich's Durchmesserlinie Tunnel