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Tram Hardbrücke opening this weekend, and network changes

filed on: 07.12.2017 (7th Dec 2017)

fuer immer verbunden tram hardbruecke

This weekend will see the opening of the new tram connection across Hardbrücke. Demonstration rides will be provided on Saturday (9th December) between 10:00 and 20:00 accompanied by various other festivities at Hardplatz. Regular timetabled operations will start on Sunday.


There are numerous crossings between tram and railway lines in Zürich. Some of them are invisible to passengers because many railways are in tunnels. But Zürich's oldest railway, the Spanischbrötlibahn, which follows the Limmat valley to Baden (and that has long since been extended to Basel and Bern, making it the city's busiest railway) has, due to its wide formation and running at ground level, cut the west of the city in two. The tram networks north and south of this line developed separately and, before the various bus and trolleybus routes that do cross the line were added, passengers needed to take a long detour via the city centre. The only tram line that did ever cross it is the long closed Schlieren to Weiningen branch of the Limmattalstrassenbahn (which crossed at grade). The introduction of a tram along Harbrücke is a long awaited improvement to the network that and change travel patterns and have repurcussions across the city.

Hardbrücke is a dual carriageway viaduct crossing the railway lines by the station of the same name. Besides the new tram, the bridge carries trolleybus routes 33 and 72 with which it shares the same platform edge at the Bahnhof Hardbrücke tram stop.

Route changes

- Route 8 will be extended from its present terminus at Hardbrücke and use the new line to Schiffbau from where it will continue via Escher-Wyss-Platz to Hardturm.
- Route 8 will also change its routing at its other end. Rather than running from Bellevue to Klusplatz via Kunsthaus and Hottingerplatz as it does today, it will run to Klusplatz via Kreuzplatz. The reduction of the number of tram routes at Klusplatz permits longer trams to be used.
- Route 15, ceding its southern section to route 8, will cease to run to Klusplatz but turn at Stadelhofen.
- Route 31 trolleybus will be extended to Witikon, taking over the full length of the line of route 34 trolleybus, which is being discontinued. With Witikon getting a direct connection to Hauptbahnhof for the fisrt time in its history, the need to change at Klusplatz is reduced, which justified the reduction from three to two tram routes.

The changes to the tram route put increased pressure on the existing fleet. According to the initial plan, deliveries of the new trams should have been commenced by now. Of course some trams are being released by the shortening of route 15, but there is still an overall incraese in the vehicles required. This will be absorbed by reducing the number of spare vehicles and avoiding driver training trips and other such operations during peak times. VBZ has warned that in extreme situations, shorter tram sets may occasionally appear on some routes in order to have sufficient cars available. The situation will become even more acute in 2019 when the extension of route 2 to Schlieren opens.


I couldn't help but share the poster, with the two overlapping circles. There is a pun on the city districts of Zürich are call Kreise (circles). The new extended route 8 will connect districts 4 and 5. The two-section Cobra (which can't actually get onto the other track) appears almost whimsical.

plakat tram hardbruecke
fuer immer verbunden tram hardbruecke
two section conbra tram hardbruecke

This news item is from the 2017 newslog.

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