The 9.6km link, which crosses the centre of Zürich in a huge S-bend, will come into full commercial operation with the start of the 2016 timetable on December 13, the most comprehensive new timetable since 2004. The new link will enable the introduction of a third hourly long-distance service from Zürich to St Gallen, and the DML will also be used by S-Bahn Line S19 (Dietikon - Effretikon) and S21 (Zürich Main Station - Regensdorf). Several other lines are being extended or linked to take full advantage of the new infrastructure.

The line includes two major new structures: the 394m Kohlendreieckbrücke and the 1156m Letzigrabenbrücke, which offers spectacular views across the city from its highest point. The two viaducts will be used by up to 24 S-Bahn and long-distance trains per hour operating at speeds of up to 120km.

The opening of stage 2 follows the inauguration last June of Löwenstrasse station, which is situated beneath the existing Main Station.

The SFr 2.1bn ($US 2.1bn) DML took eight years to build with the Swiss federal government providing two thirds of the funds and the remainder coming from the canton of Zürich.

The final stage of the project, the completion of expansion and upgrading work at the eastern end of the link at Oerlikon, is scheduled for autumn 2017.

DML map