Stadtbahn Glattal phase two construction update
filed on: 19.04.2007 (19th Apr 2007)
It has been some time since this website last reported on construction progress on the second phase of Stadtbahn Glattal. This 5.2km tram extension from Glattpark to the airport will open in late 2008.
Work is now in hand on all sections of the alignment (except a short section at Bahnhof Glattbrugg). Along the first section, from Glattpark to Lindbergh-Platz, work is concentrating on moving services. The tram will use a central alignment here, meaning the roadway itself is being diverted at the expense of the adjoining field — the rest of which is soon to make way for the massive Glattpark development (combined residential and commercial buildings and a park with a lake). Some of the buildings on the left hand-side of the road are hotels, calling themselves Zürich Airport — the airport proper is still many kilometres away.
At Lindbergh-Platz, the tram passes the building (which, if I have identified it correctly) is soon to be the European headquarters of Kraft Foods. In a controversial move, the unit has decided to relocate here from London. Some claim the move was motivated by taxes. However, there are many places with lower taxes than the Zürich area, including many in Switzerland — and apparently also in the European Union. Maybe the Glattalbahn helped sell this particular location? — in combination of course with the other factors that make Zürich so attractive (this year, Zürich has again topped Mercer's list of the world's most liveable cities).
From Lindbergh-Platz, the tram will take a left turn and dive down into a subway, excavataion of which is in full swing. This subway will take it under the airport railway link and the parallel tracks of the Kloten line. The line remains underground while running parallel to another railway, that to Bülach (the area is riddled with criss-crossing railway lines), before emerging at Bahnhof Glattbrugg. Once past the station area, some foundations for overhead masts are already in place.
Between here and Bäueler, the alignment cuts across what is still a field (excavation of the trackbed is in hand). At Bäueler, a new bridge is taking shape over the Glatt river (the latter gives Glattal its name). From here the tram follows a roadside alignment (Unterriet). The front yards of the buildings on the right hand side have all been cleared and many dug up for the new line.
At the end of this road, the tram will rise onto a viaduct (which is rapidly taking shape). At Balsberg a stop will be located on top of the viaduct with an interchange to the adjoining elevated S-Bahn line (this is the Kloten-line again). The viaduct then continues along the airport-approach road, passing various airport buildings before coming down to ground level again and approaching the main entrance. The tram continues from here to the cargo terminal - with light ground work being visible along its full length.
This news item is from the 2007 newslog.
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