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From U-Bahn to tram tunnel

In the early 1970s, Zürich was planning to solve its traffic problems by building a U-Bahn. Trains would have been standard gauge with third rail current collection and been entirely segregated from other transport modes. The alignment was to be in deep level tunnel bores, in cut-and-cover tunnels and on the surface or viaducts, depending on the location. Judged too expensive and not in harmony with the city it was too serve, the project was finally abandoned in a referendum in 1973.

Much planning work had been done, and in some places work had commenced. Much of this was later put to other uses. Below is an artist's impression of one of the cut-and-cover stations (Lindenplatz). Below is a photograph of a station of the same type that was actually built (Tierspital). A tramway was inaugurated through this section of tunnel in 1986. This tunnel, between Milchbuck and Schwandingerplatz, has three underground stops.

U-Bahn Lindenplatz

Schwamendingen tram subway, Tierspital

The U-Bahn project is described in this website's 2005 article, Zürich: A city and its trams. The U-Bahn section is here and the tram usage of the Schwamendingen line is described here.

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