Bern unveils plans for new tram line through the old town

Bern unveils plans for new tram line through the old town

Authorities in the Swiss city of Bern have unveiled plans for a brand new tram route that is set to be built in the heart of the old town. Officials said the new line is designed to relieve the burden on existing routes through the city.

Bern planning new tram through the old town

According to BärnToday, the city government in the de-facto capital of Switzerland want to expand public transport services in and around the old town to compensate for the large number of passengers on existing lines. Bernmobil, the regional transport provider, and the local council have proposed different routes for the new tram to take. 

The first, advocated by Bernmobil, is for the new tram line to be built between Bubenbergplatz and Bahnhofplatz via Speichergasse and Nägeligasse. The company argued that the route eases the pressure on existing tram lines in the city, but critics speaking to BärnToday noted that space down the two streets is limited and the line could conflict with the surrounding heritage buildings.

Three separate tram lines proposed in Bern

The second variant, likely the most expensive of the three, would see trams peel off in the north of the city at Viktoriarain, crossing the River Aare at Lorrainebrücke before passing along the Bollwerk past the main station. The tram would then travel along Laupenstrasse and Belpstrasse before fully rejoining the existing network at Kocherpark.

This variant would create an entirely new way to pass through the city of Bern, vastly reducing the passenger pressure on the existing system. However, officials in the council complained that space on the route is limited, especially considering how many drivers use the Bollwerk and Viktoriarain to get around the city centre. The cost is also of key concern.

Trams could go right past the Swiss Parliament

The final plan, the one supported by the city council, is comparatively modest. This would see a new line deviate at Casinoplatz, running along Kochergasse and Bundesgasse past the Federal Parliament building, rejoining the existing network at Hirschengraben. Officials told BärnToday that this plan is supported by feedback given to them by neighbourhood associations and will disrupt existing traffic the least out of the three plans.

However, this plan also faces some issues, with BärnToday noting that the area around Parliament is often closed to traffic due to demonstrations and security issues, which could force trams on the new line to be delayed or cancelled at short notice. Certain technical aspects of the project are also yet to be resolved.

Nevertheless, officials in the city said that they hope to confirm plans for the new tram by 2025.

Thumb image credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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