Society of Engineers and Architects of Neuchâtel
Landing platform for aircraft over railway tracks at stations
The big disadvantage for the public interested in civil and commercial aviation is that they are sometimes obliged to go a long way from a city to an airfield to take the plane. Similarly, landing at a certain distance from a large city wastes a lot of time for travellers by forcing them to use a car with all the hazards of transhipment. Landing in the middle of a city, under the current conditions, is not possible. However, in every major city there are one or more railway stations which occupy an enormous amount of space for the tracks and very little space in height. Why not build a large concrete platform on top of these tracks, under which the trains could continue to run and on which aircraft could land.
Air travellers would thus have at their disposal all the services of the station, telephone, telegraph, customs, taxis, etc. and would save precious time.
It is obvious that the hangars, repair shops, etc. would remain fixed outside the city, on the places arranged for this purpose.
This landing platform, placed at a height of 8 or 10 metres, under which the trains would circulate freely, would have the advantage of protecting the tracks against bad weather; lifts would connect this platform to the level of the station; supply services could be installed there.
Daylighting under the platform would penetrate through the open sides and through translucent slabs. The electrical lines for the railways could be fixed to the ceiling of the building. Aircraft carriers have an infinitely smaller platform area and manage to provide valuable services. In times of hurricanes, if the platform described did not offer the necessary safety, take-off and landing could still take place on airfields. This seems to be a huge step forward in the post-war period.
Louis Martenet, chief engineer of the Neuchâtel electricity
company 1873 – 1961, 21 January 1941