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