Bellinzona railway station (Italian: Stazione di Bellinzona) serves the city of Bellinzona, in the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland. It is on the Swiss Federal Railways' Gotthard line. The station is nicknamed Porta del Ticino ("Gate of Ticino") since the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in 2016.
The station was opened in 1874, as part of the opening of the Ticino valley railway, with its Biasca – Bellinzona – Lugano – Chiasso line, and its Bellinzona – Locarno line. In 1882, upon the opening of the Gotthard Rail Tunnel, and the related commencement of services on the line from Airolo to Biasca, Bellinzona was connected with the north, and with German-speaking Switzerland.
In 2008, the SBB Cargo facility at Bellinzona hit the headlines, when its workers went on strike, after SBB Cargo had prescribed rigorous reduction measures for the site.
With the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in 2016, travel times from Lucerne to Bellinzona fell by 45 minutes.
The station has five through platform tracks, served by a side platform and two island platforms, connected by both a pedestrian subway and a footbridge. There are also transit and overtaking tracks for goods trains.
The station building is on the side platform, and is flanked at each end of the station by two terminal platform tracks; the terminal track to the south is in occasional use by terminating passenger trains, but the one to the north is normally used to stable the Bellinzona tunnel rescue train.
Passenger traffic at the station is handled by Swiss Federal Railways, which serves the station with long distance trains, and by Treni Regionali Ticino Lombardia (TiLo), which operates the three lines of the Ticino rapid transit network.
Trains operated include:Zürich HB – Zug – Arth-Goldau – Bellinzona – Lugano – Chiasso – Milano Centrale (six times daily)
Zürich HB – Zug – Arth-Goldau – Bellinzona – Lugano (– Chiasso) (every second hour, three train pairs to/from Chiasso)
Basel SBB – Olten – Luzern – Arth-Goldau – Bellinzona – Lugano (every two hours)
Zürich HB – Zug – Arth-Goldau – Schwyz – Brunnen – Göschenen – Bellinzona – Locarno (every two hours)
Basel SBB – Olten – Luzern – Arth-Goldau – Schwyz – Brunnen – Göschenen – Bellinzona – Locarno
Biasca – Castione – Arbedo – Bellinzona – Lugano – Chiasso – Albate-Camerlata (Italy)
Bellinzona – Locarno
Bellinzona – Luino (Italy)
Regional bus routes of the Autopostale terminate on the station forecourt, providing links to various destinations. Autopostale also operates Bellinzona's city bus network, and all city services call at the station.
Despite the planned Bellinzona rail bypass, which has now been postponed due to lack of funds, the station is set to remain a long distance train stopping point, even after the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.
Initial plans were to replace the present Bellinzona and Lugano railway stations with a new station, to be named Ticino South, as part of the Ceneri Base Tunnel construction project. The new station would have been situated in Camorino, at the intersection of the Gotthard axis of the new AlpTransit line and the old Gotthardbahn.
However, in May 2007 the Swiss Federal Railways dissociated itself from those plans, and indicated support for the continued stopping of long-distance trains in the city centres of Bellinzona and Lugano.