Opening of upgraded Bern train station delayed by two more years
Due to delays in construction during the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland, the planned opening of the expanded train station in Bern has been pushed even further back. Latest estimates predict that the Swiss public transport system will have to wait until 2027 for the project to be complete.
Geological difficulties and COVID-19 have delayed the project
On February 15, the city of Bern, alongside Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and Bern-Solothurn regional transport station (RBS) announced the delay in the project’s opening, stating that the delays have been caused by demanding geological conditions, hydrological problems and the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland.
The expansion project has been in the works since 2017, as Bern is home to Switzerland’s second-largest train station. Overcrowding has been an issue for some time, with many commuters using it as a hub station to get to jobs across the city. The entire project will see SBB create a pedestrian underpass and two new entrances to the station.
As part of the same set of renovations, RBS will create a new underground station below the main building, and the city of Bern has plans to change traffic routes for vehicles around the station.
New delays are costly for Swiss railways
The station upgrade is predicted to cost around 730 million Swiss francs. The expansion of the railway is expected to cost a further 375 million Swiss francs - already re-evaluated to be an extra 15 million Swiss francs more expensive than the original prediction of 360 million.
The new Bern-Solothurn regional transport station is to go into operation from 2029, with the station’s new underpass to be completed by 2028. The station’s main expansion should be completed by 2027, almost two years after the original plan to open in 2025.