Authorisation for works/projects near railways (Art. 18m RA).
All operations and works taking place close to railway land and installations have to be approved by SBB. This includes projects involving the construction, demolition, redevelopment and restoration of buildings, laying pipes and cables along and under the tracks, setting up mobile phone antennas and infrastructure (circuiting cabinets, etc.), fencing, planting trees, etc., whether or not they are the subject of a planning enquiry.
Whether or not there is a planning enquiry, the work cannot begin without the written approval of SBB. The safety of operations is at stake.
Information about the procedure for requesting authorisation from SBB.
If there is a third-party planning enquiry, SBB establishes, after reviewing the dossier, a position based on article 18m of the Swiss Railways Act of 20 December 1957 (RA, SR 742.101). Its provisions will form an integral part of the building permit.
The agreement of SBB in accordance with art. 18m RA may be requested before, during or at the latest after the planning enquiry, on the understanding that the authority responsible for issuing the building permit will not be able to grant the permit until the approval of SBB has been granted. It is clear that work cannot begin in the meantime.
Types of SBB installations
Types of SBB installations: railway tracks and high-voltage power lines.
We stress that, in terms of railway installations, SBB also carries electric current and possesses high-voltage overhead power lines located, in part, away from railway property in the strict sense.
All projects planned to be carried out within a radius of less than 50 metres of SBB land and overhead power cables must to be sent us for examination and approval.
The Infrastructure Division is responsible for handling third-party rights of passage on or close to railway land.
Your SBB contact for the approval of applications for the construction of lines by the SBB is the department of Contracts. Dossiers should be sent to SBB at the following address:
- For French-speaking Switzerland and Haut-Valais:
SBB Contracts – Western Region, PO Box 345, 1001 Lausanne
Contact Western Region
- For central Switzerland:
SBB Contracts – Central Region, Tannwaldstrasse 2, CH-4600 Olten
Contact Central Region
- For Eastern Switzerland:
SBB Contracts – Eastern Region, Kasernenstrasse 95-97, P.O. Box, CH-8021 Zurich
Contact Eastern Region
- For Ticino:
SBB Network development – Agency Ticino, Viale Stazione, 6500 Bellinzona
Contact: Daniele Strozzi, phone 051 227 65 67
The requirements for applications for a right of passage across SBB land are:
- 3 copies of all documents in paper form,
no electronic dossiers
- full application for authorisation for the proposed project with the exact address of the client and the planning engineering company
- exact location of the project, line/route, between which stations, coordinates
- technical description of the construction project, the construction process, and type of utility
- plans drawn to scale, in relation to track layout
- site plan 1:1000 or 1:500
- longitudinal profiles 1:100 or 1:50
- cross profiles 1:100 or 1:50
- the guidelines set out in Swiss standard SN 671 260 are to be observed.
Contract: Once SBB's internal departments have approved the application for a right of passage, provisions on the use of railway land are stipulated by the Contracts department of the Infrastructure Division in addition to formal project authorisation.
The contract is drawn up by SBB and sent out along with authorisation for the project.
Please note that work may not begin until the contract has been signed by the client and owner of the pipes/cables/lines and returned to SBB.
Project review/ waiting times
Project review and approval.
A complete dossier for the project must be submitted to us for examination and approval. The dossier will be reviewed by all the relevant SBB departments, who will have to make a decision about it. In principle, the waiting time is 4 weeks. Once the project has been examined, the position of SBB will be established by our Acquisitions and Sales department on the basis of internal notifications.
The general contractor may also consult us during the preliminary project phase. However, he is obliged to send us the definitive project for approval.
Contents of the dossier
Contents of the dossier.
If there is a planning enquiry, SBB's review will be based on the exact same dossier that is submitted to the authority responsible for the building permit request.
Depending on the type (building, pipeline, antenna, etc.) and the complexity of the project, SBB reserves the right to demand additional documents such as:
- information about support for digging (e.g. retention walls)
- design calculations
- working methods
- outline showing the railway installations
- schedule of the works
- type of pipe
- materials used
- information about diameter, depth and distance with respect to the railway installations
- construction machinery
- for antennas, a report based on the Swiss regulations governing non-ionizing radiation (NISV).
The distances to be respected with regard to adjoining property (SBB) are those mentioned in the local authority building regulations. Exception: if there is a line that transmits electric current or a plot reserved for rail projects (extra track, intersection, noise abatement wall, etc.), the distance to be respected will be adjusted accordingly.
Standards and regulations:
- those currently in force in the area of the third-party project;
- in particular zoning plans, building regulations, the Swiss federal ordinances on noise protection (LSV), on non-ionising radiation (NISV), on protection against major accidents (StFV), on electrical power lines (LeV), on railway electrical installations and its implementing provisions (VEAB, AB VEAB), and the standards of the Swiss Association of Road and Transport Professionals (VSS), etc.
SBB standards and instructions, which will be communicated alongside SBB's position once the dossier has been examined, are reserved.
SBB negotiating partner and contact
SBB negotiating partner and contact.
Your SBB negotiating partner/contact for the approval of third-party projects is the Acquisition and Disposition department of the SBB Real Estate division.
Dossiers should be sent to SBB at the following address:
For French-speaking Switzerland and Haut-Valais:
SBB Acquisition and Disposition – Western Region, P.O. Box 345, CH-1001 Lausanne.