Officially launched in 2021, the major construction work at Lausanne station has been stalled for a year. © Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott
Canton Vaud and the city of Lausanne in western Switzerland have expressed disappointment and concern after federal authorities announced a major delay to construction work already under way at Lausanne rail station, a major hub. This content was published on March 17, 2023 March 17, 2023 minutes Keystone-SDA/jc
Swiss Federal Railways and the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) announced earlier that underground work on the station square will start in April 2024. The transformation of the platforms should follow in 2026 with a phased implementation between 2030 and 2036.
“The consequent delay that such a choice implies, with commissioning now scheduled for 2038, is unfortunately not a surprise for the City and the Canton, which have repeatedly warned of the difficulties of a project that has been declared a national priority and should have been completed by 2025,” says the joint statement from Vaud and Lausanne.
They said they would work to ensure that“the construction concept presented today guarantees the passage of trains, as well as the functioning of the Lausanne rail hub and the entire Western Switzerland network”. The joint statement also says they“regret the numerous negative repercussions that will continue for the local population, shopkeepers, station users and the companies involved”.
Routes around Lake Geneva, particularly between Lausanne and Geneva, are among the most saturated in Switzerland. Plans originally to 2030 include doubling the capacity of the Lausanne-Geneva line and major upgrade works to stations, especially Lausanne.
The municipal and cantonal authorities said the new concept for the station seemed to be an improvement on the old one, but that the working partnership between Swiss Federal Railways and the FOT set up in 2022 must“enable the new concept for upgrading Lausanne station to be implemented as quickly as possible”.
Officially launched in 2021, the Lausanne station project has been stalled for a year after the FOT requested more information on the statics of the site. The plan also has to be revised to take account of projected higher numbers of passengers. Swiss Federal Railways plans to make the platforms bigger than in the original plans dating from 2012.
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