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Old 04.06.2015, 12:30
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Zurich HB - Nearly locked inside!

Alright guys, help me out here.
A few nights ago, I arrived in Zurich on a train from Olten, which was due to arrive at 1:04am and ended up with a 6 minute delay.
I live in Kreis 5, and when I normally exit the station, I go up the stairs by Sihlquai (Asian Store, Burger King and Schnägg all located there)
However, after exiting this train, taking the stairs down to the walkway, and trying to exit like normal, there were gates that had been brought down from the ceiling and blocked off all my normal exits!
This freaked me out, so I took the stairs down the gleis 43 or whatever, and came up closer to the main hall and again found all exits blocked.
I then found my way to the main hall, and found the exits all along the back and front of the station closed.
I ran to the exit by Bahnofquai and found a door that remained open, stopped to look at my watch after making the exit, turned around to look again, and a gate had come down and this exit was now also closed.
Keep in mind, I was not diddledaddling around, I had even sprinted off the train in hopes to catch the last tram towards my flat for the night.

Is this normal?? I assume it is different over the weekend when the night trains are running, as this was on Tuesday. But it's not as if I had wasted time in the station before trying to exit... Where am I supposed to exit the station when I arrive on one of the last trains of the night? Has anyone else ran into this?
I must say, my heart was pumping and I was running the whole time with a panic that I would be stuck in the station overnight.
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Old 04.06.2015, 12:34
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Re: Zurich HB - Nearly locked inside!

It's not so bad to be stranded in a railway station overnight. I once spent a night stuck at Zug station (not locked in, but I had nowhere else to go). I found a comfortable bench to stretch out on, and survived on the Curly-Wurlies and crisps that I'd been given earlier in the evening.

There wasn't much chance of sleep, but plenty of pleasant thinking time, and no rush to catch the first train home in the morning.

I've slept in worse places.

(But in your situation, I'd give the Zurich transport police a call. They'd have you out in no time: 051 222 39 81)
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Old 04.06.2015, 13:40
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Re: Zurich HB - Nearly locked inside!

"Overnight" sounds scary when you put it that way, but in fact it is only closed for a couple of hours, from about 1:30 until 4:00am (trains start running again just before 5am.)

During that time, security guards still patrol the station in half-hourly rounds. So at worst you only need to stay in one place (I think I'd go to the area between the main hall and the head of the main platforms, to make myself visible from as many directions as possible) and wait up to 30 minutes for someone to find you.

Of course be prepared to identify yourself and answer questions about what you are doing in the station at that time, why you didn't leave the station promptly when all the other passengers from your train did (or were there a whole trainful of you wandering around??) etc. - but once they've satisfied their curiosity I expect they'd probably let you out.


Here's an article - it's from 2010, so the references to particular construction work are a bit outdated, but still an interesting read - about what goes on in Zürich HB during the night.
http://folio.nzz.ch/2010/oktober/kap...ch-mitternacht
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Old 04.06.2015, 13:51
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Re: Zurich HB - Nearly locked inside!

I always imagined main railways stations were open 24 hours a day.

Basel certainly seems to be. I've been in there at 0230-0330 in the past - it's lovely and quiet.

But I suppose Basel has through traffic, rather than being an end of the line backwater.
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Old 04.06.2015, 13:53
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Re: Zurich HB - Nearly locked inside!

Haha! Thank you for the phone number, I immediately added it to my phone contacts.
Although there are worse things then staying in the station overnight, that is just not my jam. It felt more like a horror movie scenario to me :mannered:

I was the first person to leave the train in the car I was in, and promptly ran down the stairs to exit per usual. There were other passengers in the train, but I didn't see where they went, although I imagine they went towards the main hall immediately, whereas I normally have no business exiting there.
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Old 04.06.2015, 13:58
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Re: Zurich HB - Nearly locked inside!

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There were other passengers in the train, but I didn't see where they went
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Old 04.06.2015, 14:20
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Re: Zurich HB - Nearly locked inside!

I've done a bit of digging, and have discovered the reason why Zurich HB is always so clean in the mornings! It seems that they've installed a system like those automatic public lavatories, whereby the entire station is flooded overnight in order to get everything shipshape and Bristol fashion ready for the start of the day.

Whatever will the Swiss think of next?!





However, it means you probably won't want to stay in there once the gates are closed...
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Old 04.06.2015, 16:20
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Re: Zurich HB - Nearly locked inside!

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I've done a bit of digging, and have discovered the reason why Zurich HB is always so clean in the mornings! It seems that they've installed a system like those automatic public lavatories, whereby the entire station is flooded overnight in order to get everything shipshape and Bristol fashion ready for the start of the day.

Whatever will the Swiss think of next?!





However, it means you probably won't want to stay in there once the gates are closed...
yes, that was done a few years ago.

once, i also got locked in late at night on a lower level and the water started filling up (to do the clean, they make it water tight) and soon it was over the level of my head and i had to start swimming towards the escalators to avoid being trapped against the ceiling and drowned.

thankfully, i got out to the ground level and got out by climbing over the fence that is raised from the ground to seal it off.
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