"Porta del Ticino" gets its official opening.

Porta del Ticino
  • 14 October 2016

"Porta del Ticino" gets its official opening.

Bellinzona station was officially opened on the 14th of October in the presence of SBB CEO Andreas Meyer, Mayor of Bellinzona Mario Branda and Cantonal Councillor Claudio Zali, marking the completion of extensive modernisation and expansion work costing CHF 36 million. The "Porta del Ticino" offers customers an attractive range of shops and services boasting more space and more light. The station is now all set for when the Gotthard Base Tunnel is placed in service on 11 December.

The extensive work undertaken to modernise and expand Bellinzona station is now complete, with a new annexe and connecting structure being added onto the existing listed station building. The new wing draws on the past by adopting elements of the historical office building in its architecture. However, it also has an eye on the future, as illustrated in the major upgrade to the services being offered to customers.

"I’m delighted that we were able to finish work on the station in time for the Gotthard Base Tunnel being placed in service," said Jürg Stöckli, Head of SBB Real Estate. The project proved highly challenging, he revealed. "For one thing, we ran a full service while the construction work was ongoing, which meant that everyone involved – not least our customers – had to be extremely flexible." Amongst other things, they also worked two-shift days from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday without a break for three months over the summer, he added. "So all the companies and staff involved deserve my most heartfelt thanks." Mr Stöckli also indicated that support from the authorities and a fruitful partnership with the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the body responsible for listed buildings in the canton were key to SBB being able to open the station on schedule.

Bright and airy entrance hall to welcome passengers

The centrepiece of the "Porta del Ticino" is an entrance hall bathed in natural light. This links the new SBB Travel centre, the City Bistro, the Europcar desk, the k Kiosk and the tourist office to the shops on the lower floor, where customers can now find a new Coop store, a Brezelkönig and a Migros Take Away. Meanwhile, a dental practice and a pension fund have moved into their offices on the first floor.
As well as the building itself, access routes to the trains at Bellinzona station have also been significantly expanded and improved. A new underpass now connects the entrance hall to the platforms, which have been extended and raised to make it easier for passengers to board their trains. A lift and a series of ramps ensure disabled access to all services.

This complex renovation and modernisation project lasted over two years, with SBB investing a total of some CHF 36 million to upgrade Bellinzona station.

 

Share article