Irchel Tram Depot – Headshunt Redevelopment

Redeveloped headshunt enables Zurich Public Transport (VBZ) to operate its Irchel Tram Depot more efficiently. Difficult and time-consuming shunting tasks are now a thing of the past.

Trams with low-floor cars in the middle and trailers (also referred to as “sedan-pony trams”) have been in operation on Line 7 since November 2010. These trams are now to be maintained and housed at the Irchel Tram Depot.

The existing headshunt was not long enough to permit the expeditious handling of trams longer than 43 metres. Handling the 45-metre sedan-pony trams on the existing headshunt involved disconnecting the tram cars, shunting them separately into the depot and then reconnecting them – an overly complicated, time consuming and operationally impractical process. In response, Zurich Public Transport (VBZ) initiated an internal process of identifying alternative solutions. These solutions were also expected to take account of the new tram specifications that will apply following Zurich Public Transport’s purchase of a new tram generation (NTG).

In October 2010, Zurich Public Transport commissioned EBP to conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the various development proposals it had worked out. The review was also to include an examination of the associated costs and relative merits of the proposed construction measures and their impact on the depot’s immediate vicinity and on railway operation in general.

Working in the capacity of a general planner, EBP evaluated the various proposals and used the results of its review to outline the steps that would need to be taken to gain approval for and execute the redevelopment project. This work included the drafting of the following documents: a rail bending and assembly plan for two railway switches and two railway junctions, a materials supply plan, a railway routing plan and a plan for a new buffer stop located in a sensitive environment directly below an art installation. EBP also supported Zurich Public Transport in the capacity of a construction site manager.