When new roads or railways are constructed, any buildings standing in their way are usually demolished. However in Chêne-Bourg, Switzerland, local authorities were reluctant to knock down a 19th-century railway station to make way for a new track. Instead, they came up with a 1.3 million Euro plan to move the 700-ton station 108 feet out of the way!

The Gare de Chêne-Bourg railway station was said to be of significant historical interest (1.3 million euros worth at least), however at a weight of 700 tons it took a substantial effort to move it. Engineers were able to construct specially-designed tracks upon which to hoist and drag the train station into its new position. After 12 weeks of preparation, the operation took only five hours to move the station 108 feet.

The station was moved to accommodate the region’s CEVA rail link, which will feature new underground stations. The moving operation is a fascinating project, and one that could theoretically be done on a larger scale – Iranian authorities have long planned to move the entire city of Tehran due to the threat of an earthquake.

Watch the above video to see the how the operation was achieved.

Via BBC News

Lead photo via Wikimedia Commons