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OTHER NEWS 24 Jun 2015

'Zurich cross-city link – Löwenstrasse Station' project scoops double award

The first Building Award was presented in Lucerne on 18 June 2015. Together with Basler & Hofmann, Pöyry Switzerland Ltd. received two honours: one in the 'Grund-, Tief- und Infrastrukturbau' (Foundation and civil engineering and infrastructural development) category, and the other as overall winners for their 'Zurich cross-city link – Löwenstrasse Station' project.

The Building Award recognises engineers for their outstanding, remarkable and innovative achievements. The epic cross-city link is a highly complex construction project, which was realised within budget and opened on schedule in June 2014. In recognition of this feat of engineering, Martin O. Bachmann and Peter Kübler, from the engineering group ZALO (Pöyry Switzerland Ltd. and Basler & Hofmann), were honoured both in the 'Grund-, Tief- und Infrastrukturbau' category and as overall winners.


Photographer: Lenka Reichelt, Fotostudio Lenka Reichelt, Zuchwil

The project

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) is the national railway company of Switzerland, currently transporting around 353 million passengers and 64 million net tonnes of freight across the country every year. Zurich’s main railway station is the largest in Switzerland and since 1990, the number of passengers travelling through the station has doubled, with volumes expected to continue to rise steeply. To keep up with demand, a new railway was proposed, linking east and west-bound routes, allowing trains to pass through the station instead of 'dead ending', saving time and track space.

SBB turned to the ZALO consortium, of which Pöyry is a partner, to deliver the full sequence of services from the initial study phase to detailed engineering and site supervision. Excavating an underground station in the middle of a city the size of Zurich required an innovative approach, and one which has resulted in minimal disruptions to the continuous operation of the main station throughout the project.

According to Roland Kobel, Project Director Cross-City Link at SBB AG, "This was a complex project that required expert planning, effective project management and specific attention to safety. Given the physical challenges of the site – the river, the downtown area just above – Pöyry’s expertise really made a difference in this project."

This expertise is helping to create a new link that will increase the capacity of Zurich main station by around one third, preparing it for the expected increase in traffic, both underneath and above ground. When completed, at peak times the new station will be able to cope with 400-metre-long double-decker trains arriving every two minutes, handling a maximum capacity of 3,000 passengers per train.