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Who we are

Anchored in Switzerland and internationally active, WALO is managed as a family business in the 4th and 5th generation. For over 100 years, WALO has focused on the combination of consistency and innovation.


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What we do

WALO is active as an innovative total solutions company in all markets of the construction industry. The family-owned company has established itself as a reliable partner in the construction industry and infrastructure projects in Switzerland and worldwide with its decades of experience and the permanent development of sustainable as well as economical solutions.


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Projects

We have successfully implemented many challenging projects. Therefore, we proudly let our references speak for our work.


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Products

Whether residential, industrial, healthcare, outdoor or for sports and leisure facilities - seamless floor coverings have to meet a wide variety of requirements on a permanent basis.


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Career

Good buildings and thus satisfied customers require precise construction work. All our employees, from unskilled workers to engineers, play a key role in ensuring that we achieve this goal time and time again.


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Helping to shape the future at Bern station

With the second largest railroad station in Switzerland, Bern plays a central role for domestic and foreign rail traffic. To ensure that Bern station can continue to fulfill its function as a hub in the future, it is being expanded. Today, it is reaching its operational and spatial limits.

Contract awarded for the construction of the "Mitte" underpass

As part of the "Future of Bern Station" project, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and the Bern-Solothurn Regional Railway (RBS) are implementing two major sub-projects:

  • New RBS station
    The new RBS underground station is being built under the existing tracks 2 to 7 of the SBB station. It will have four tracks.
  • New underpass with new access to the SBB station
    SBB is building a second underground passage, the "Unterführung Mitte", between the existing station underpass and the passerelle known as the "Welle", which leads over the tracks on the western edge of the station. This will provide access from Länggasse and Bubenbergplatz. In the future, the entrance on Bubenbergplatz will be located on the first floor of the new Bubenberg Center.

In June 2019, our consortium under the leadership of Walo Bertschinger AG was awarded the contract by SBB for the construction of the new "Unterführung Mitte". Three months later, we started with the construction site installations.

In the middle of station operations

The new underpass is being built in open excavations in seven stages across the station. Two tracks and one platform will be closed at a time. The station will continue to operate on the remaining tracks.

Access to the "Mitte" underpass construction site is via a shaft to the north of the station and through a gallery leading from the shaft to the outer wall of the station. The track and platform closures required for the construction of the underpass will also be used to completely renew the platform and service lines in the sections that are closed. This part of the "platform construction" of our construction site will be accessed by a construction train from the Aebimatt installation site, which is located about one kilometer away.

As one can easily imagine, working in the middle of an operating railroad station poses a number of challenges:

Precise scheduling in the long term

  • Track closures must be requested at least three months in advance, or better yet, six months or a full year in advance. Our construction program is already planned in detail until April 2023 with all critical dates.
  • For journeys with the construction train from the installation site to the station or vice versa, clearance of the track must be obtained from the station control center by the train conductor in each case. Depending on the time of day and traffic, this can sometimes take an hour. For this reason, important work with many transports is always carried out during the night break between 11:30 pm and 4:30 am.
  • From a construction point of view, the challenges lie mainly in the good coordination of the most diverse types of work. Deadlines and work sequences have to be planned well in advance and yet as precisely as possible. The quality of the work preparation, such as the planning of personnel, equipment, material orders, logistics, etc., and the forward-looking consultation with SBB operations are crucial. Short-term actions are virtually impossible as a result of station operations.

Passengers and rail operations have priority

For the ordinary operation of the station, the construction activities are of course first and foremost a disruption and thus troublesome. Passenger flow as well as rail operations always have priority and must be disturbed as little as possible. At the points of contact with rail operations, we rely on flawless and reliable cooperation with the countless specialist services of the SBB and all those responsible for safety in and around the station.

Working under the watchful eye of the public

Our employees in the station are always in the focus of the train passengers. Carelessness in dealing with safety regulations, wearing clothing that does not comply with regulations, defects in machinery, any clouds of dust during point work, a hectic pace when difficulties arise, and much more are immediately registered by the public and often photographed and reported to SBB.

The success factors: Expertise, skill and motivation

Thanks to the willingness of the ARGE partners to make their best people available to the construction site - from the foreman to the construction worker - we completed the second stage on time and without serious accidents at the end of March 2022. WALO has contributed to the construction so far with the following services: civil engineering, demolition, track construction, concrete drilling/cutting, special civil engineering, underground construction, waterproofing, mastic asphalt, flooring, road construction, hydrodynamics, Wimmis works yard, occupational safety.

Contact

Walo Bertschinger AG
Giessenstrasse 5
8953 Dietikon 1

Service

Road construction & Civil engineering

Concrete rehabilitation and hydrodynamics

Trackwork and Rail engineering

Underground construction

Mastic asphalt

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We appreciate your interest in the WALO Group and are happy to answer any questions you may have.