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First tram reaches Zürich West!

filed on: 13.01.2005 (13th Jan 2005)

An information booth opens today to inform residents about the projected 3km tram route from Escher Wyss Platz to Bahnhof Altstetten (sometimes also referred to as Tram 18). The stand is located outside Schiffbau, not far from where the new tram will run. And rather than using a portacabin or something equally unimaginative, the office is nothing less than a tram!

Opening times of the tram are Thursdays and Fridays from 14:00 to 18:00 and Saturdays 10:00 to 14:00. The exhibition will last until 2006. The closest bus stop is Pfingstweidstrasse.

The latest schedule sees construction work on this line starting in 2007 for a 2009 opening (instead of 2008). Planning is making good progress and a public enquiry is set for March. A referendum will probably also be required.

One feature of the plans is a total redesign of Escher-Wyss-Platz, where the new line will join the existing system. The tram stop will be moved from its present location under the viaduct to the Limmatstrasse. The East (city) side of the square is to be pedestrianised, making it easier for tram passengers to interchange with the bus services on the viaduct. The pedestrianisation will be achieved by concentrating the car lanes on the West side (in front of the depot). The pedestrianisation will provide a new quality to this currently car-dominated location. The tram track layout will become considerably more complex, allowing many movement that currently require reversals. Basically, it will be possible for trams coming from any direction to continue in any other direction and to enter/leave the depot without reversing.

The street-running railway siding running parallel to the viaduct and crossing tram tracks at grade at Escher-Wyss-Platz will have to be realigned at its junction with Pfingstweidstrasse. This siding serves Swissmill and is used several times a day.

Euro 2008: On a related note, it is now official that Euro 2008 games will be played at Letzigrund and not at Hardturm. This would explain why the schedule for the new line could be allowed to slip slightly (Tram Zürich West should have been running to Hardturm in time for the championship - this urgency is now lost). See also 11.11.2004, 30.09.2004 and 09.09.2004.

Infotram: For those who want to know more about the infotram itself: the tram at Schiffbau is 768, one of the Standard trailers rendered surplus in December 2003 (see 02.04.2004). The front part of the tram is used to screen a computer-animated film of the new line. Viewers sit on the original tram seats. The rear part of the tram is an exhibition area with plans and drawings of the new line. Visitors enter and leave through the rear door.

This news item is from the 2005 newslog.


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