Three kilometres of new tramline through an up-and-coming district of the city.  

Zurich is currently experiencing strong inward development – former industrial sites are opening up and have been transformed from empty spaces on the map to lively areas filled with new offices, apartments and arts venues. One of these zones of development lies between Escher-Wyss-Platz and Altstetten station. Thanks to its easy accessibility and plentiful supply of land, the Zurich West district has become the epicentre and backbone of economic growth in the entire Zurich region. According to the canton’s structure plan, it is one of eleven central areas of cantonal significance.

The upswing in Zurich West also means growing transport requirements. Various long-term infrastructural measures are planned to meet the demand. The city and canton of Zurich want to put an infrastructure in place to harness the available potential as effectively as possible. In order to provide rapid, reliable and congestion-free transport for the 7,000 people expected to live and the 31,000 people expected to work in the district by 2015, the Zurich West tram is of central importance. Various additional measures will be implemented to upgrade the street environment.

The Zurich West tram project was delivered simultaneously with the redevelopment of Pfingstweidstrasse. The lead manager was Zurich Public Transport (VBZ), which worked in close collaboration with the economic development department (transport and road infrastructure division), ZVV and the City of Zurich. The main work on the project was completed at the end of 2011. The new tramline went into operation on 11 December 2011.

It makes up part of the tram no. 4 route from the Altstetten station via Schiffbau, Escher-Wyss-Platz, Zurich main station and Bellevue to the Tiefenbrunnen station. Bridging the gap until the Hardbrücke tram connection begins operating in late 2017, the new tram no. 17 will maintain the current service of tram no. 4 in this corridor from Zurich main station to the terminus at Werdhölzli (see also the timetable change press release).

Construction budget (Level of credit applications)

Zurich West tram CHF 150 million
Redevelopment of Pfingstweidstrasse CHF 149 million
Renewal of infrastructure and electricity, gas and sewage lines CHF 17 million

The federal authorities have earmarked funding of CHF 75 million from the infrastructure fund. Constituting 50% of the investments in the tram project, this federal involvement reduces the amounts contributed by the city (CHF 59 million) and the canton (CHF 90 million) by half.


10 Nov. 2004 Swiss Federal Council grants infrastructure concession for construction of a new line from Escher-Wyss-Platz to Altstetten station
15 May 2007 Federal authorities grant construction permit for street and tram project
17 June 2007 City of Zurich approves credit of CHF 59 million for the city component with a 69.3% yes vote
25 Nov. 2007 In a referendum, 69.8% of the cantonal electorate vote for the canton to contribute CHF 90 million to funding
09 Sept. 2008 Groundbreaking
2008 - 2011 Construction
11 Nov. 2011 Federal Office of Transport issues operating license for the new tram route
11 Dec. 2011 Commissioning of regular service

Find out more (German) Opens link in new window

Opens PDF in new windowBrochure (PDF, 3.25MB) Zurich West tram / redevelopment of Pfingstweidstrasse (September 2008 – December 2011)

Current project information (German) Opens link in new window