Lucerne underground station.

Lucerne station is one of Switzerland's busiest railway stations. The current approaches are operating at maximum capacity. In the last few decades performance has increased gradually, but further optimisations are no longer possible.

For both SBB and the Canton and City of Lucerne, an underground station with direct access from Ebikon is the best expansion option to alleviate future bottlenecks on the approaches to Lucerne station. The new, direct route from Ebikon will address the existing bottlenecks at Rotsee, in the Gütschtunnel, on the approaches and at the platforms, and will also create additional capacity for the national rail lines. In a later phase, a sub-surface connection in the Heimbach area to a through station will be built. According to initial rough estimates, the cost could amount to almost CHF 2 billion. SBB finished drafting the preliminary project in May 2013.

To build the underground station, the Federal government, cantons and SBB have to find a suitable financing formula, as the project is in competition with other upgrade projects in Switzerland.

The transport commission of the Council of States has applied for a guarantee credit of CHF 6.4 billion as part of FABI/STEP. This should also cover project planning for capacity upgrades on the Aarau-Zurich, Zurich-Winterthur, Thalwil-Zug (with Zimmerberg) and Zug-Lucerne routes, with the underground station serving as a through station on the latter route.

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