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Underground Design for Gothenburg Central Station

Gothenburg Central Station project site

Considering its dense urban environment and difficult soil conditions, Danish consulting engineering group Cowi has delivered the meticulous scheme for a new underground addition to Gothenburg Central Station in Sweden.

The intention of designing this new cut and cover underground area at the historic Gothenburg Central Station with 400m length is to enhance the station’s capacity.

Including three underground stations (Haga, Korsvägen and Central), the works consider as section of the West Link project, that is a main rail infrastructure plan and is due to be constructed 8km of double track built across Gothenburg, 6km of that will be in a tunnel.

Cowi was appointed as the main consultant for West Link’s design and construction works, by Swedish construction company NCC, the project contractor.

Concrete tunnels, rock tunnels, concrete trough structures, pumping stations, support structures, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installations, relocation of roads, trams and infrastructure, bridge design, a station building, and architectural design for the station as well as three new buildings in Liseberg amusement park, are the contents of this project.

While the starting date of the design stage was in 2016, the first construction phase was broken in 2018 and Cowi completed a detailed design scope in 2021.

Due to the ground conditions the design of the station extension has encountered a challenge. The station is located in soft Gothenburg clay, which has a low consolidation rate meaning that the tunnel and station experience heavy loading forces from the overlying buildings and substrate.

In order to decrease these challenges Cowi planned a mixture of diaphragm walls and cross walls for the retaining structure to present better support in the soft ground.

Generating detailed 3D BIM models of the concrete reinforcements within the structure, NCC, and Swedish transport administration Trafikverket have accessed to a more detailed visualization of the site.

According to Cowi leading project manager for its civil structures department in Sweden Anna Egefalk: “The Central station upgrade is an extremely complex infrastructure project.”

She continued: “Working through a pandemic has come with challenges, but together with our clients NCC and Trafikverket, we have delivered a unique design that will help future proof the region’s transport needs.”

The transport communications across Gothenburg and Västra Götaland, which is one of the fastest-growing regions in Northern Europe, will be improved following the completion of the new Central Station in 2026.

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