Transforming Bern station into a modern mobility hub
Bern railway station is the second largest in Switzerland and an important hub for national and international rail services. The expansion of Bern station will create significant benefits for passengers and visitors.
Benefits for passengers and visitors
Expanding Bern train station will improve connectivity and convenience on the trains, in the train station and at its access points:
- More trains thanks to denser timetables on the S-Bahn and mainline long distance services
- More seats in trains thanks to additional double-deck coaches and longer trains
- Easier train access from the platforms and more space in passageways and the platform hall
- Lighter and more pleasant atmosphere in the passageways
- Shorter transfers between platforms thanks to new pedestrian underpass
- Improved accessibility for people with restricted vision or mobility
- More access points and shorter transfers to regional postbus services
- Fully fledged second main entrance on the west side
- Direct, pedestrian-friendly connection to Hirschengraben/City West
- Short transfers to tram/bus/postbus
- Less overcrowding on the station forecourt and at its public transport stops.
Measures for improved service quality at the public transport hub of Bern
In order to support the “Future Bern Station” project and improve the quality of services at Bern’s public transport hub, SBB is implementing an array of further projects. These initiatives will boost flexibility, capacity, punctuality and comfort.
Two key projects – and the groundwork for further expansion phases – have already been completed:
- Shortening the train sequence time: the trains between Wankdorf and Bern station now run at two-minute intervals instead of the previous three minutes.
- Raising and extending platform 7/8 to the west of the Welle overpass in Bern station. Trains up to 400 metres long can now stop here.
Separating traffic flows in Wylerfeld
Separating traffic flows in Wylerfeld is a key project for more connections and improved punctuality at the railway hub of Bern. It will eliminate the conflicts that arise when trains cross paths to the east of Bern, where the busy routes of Olten–Bern, Biel/Bienne–Bern and Thun–Bern meet. As part of this project, SBB is constructing an 872-metre-long tunnel that allows trains to cross over on different levels. Construction began in January 2016 and the project is set to be completed in 2022.
Modifications to Bern Wankdorf station
Alongside separating traffic flows in Wylerfeld, SBB is expanding the southern platform facilities at Bern Wankdorf station. Thanks to a new outside platform, passengers can board trains to Bern directly from Max-Daetwyler-Platz. In addition, the central platform (platforms 1/2) is being widened and adapted to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The access points (passageways) are also being widened in order to increase capacity.
New signal boxes for punctual rail traffic
Signal boxes control all the elements that are necessary to ensure that a train can be driven safely and avoid collisions. They ensure that points, signals, “track clear” signals and level crossings all interact correctly. Some of the signal boxes in the Bern hub have reached the end of their service life and must be replaced.
SBB has constructed a new Rail Engineering Building in Bern Weyermannshaus and replaced the old “historic” signalling installations. It also upgraded the railway infrastructure. This means that in addition to being used for freight services as before, the installation in Weyermannshaus can now also be used for stabling passenger trains.
The Aebimatt signal box is being replaced and integrated into the new safety installation. This means that the entire track system in Bern station will be monitored from one place. The modern infrastructure will ensure that trains will run on time despite the increase in traffic. The new safety installation forms the basis for all future projects and upgrade work in the Bern area.