|Basel tramway network|
A BLT tram in Basel.
|Open||6 May 1892|
|Electrification||650 V DC|
|Track length (double)||77 km|
|Website||Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (in German)|
The Basel tramway network (German: Basler Strassenbahn-Netz) is a network of tramways forming part of the public transport system in Basel, Switzerland, and the Swiss part of its agglomeration. It consists of 13 lines. Due to its longevity (the network is now more than a century old), it is part of Basel's heritage and, alongside the Basel Minster, is one of the symbols of the city.
The trams on the network are operated by two transport providers: Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (Basel Transport Service) (BVB) and Baselland Transport (BLT). Both operators are part of the integrated fare network Tarifverbund Nordwestschweiz (TNW), which in itself is part of the three countries-integrated fare network triregio.
BVB is owned by, and operates in, Basel-Stadt, the small canton comprising the city of Basel and two smaller municipalities, both situated right of the Rhine. Its green trams operate mostly in the city, although the termini of its lines 3 and 6 are in the more rural canton of Basel-Land, whilst line 8 terminates across the frontier in Germany.
BLT is owned by Basel-Land, and its yellow and red trams operate in the outer suburbs to the south of Basel, and at one point pass through the territory of France. However, the three lines it operates, lines 10, 11 and 17, all also run over BVB track in central Basel. In addition line 14, while owned by BLT, is operated by BVB well into Basel-Land.
The network grew quickly. In 1897, six new sections were put in service, with one linking Basel and Birsfelden.
In 1900, the Basel tramway network acquired an international dimension, when a new cross-border line was opened to Sankt-Ludwig (now Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin), in the then German Empire. The line operated till 1950. In 1910, a second international line was opened to Hüningen (now Huningue also Haut Rhin), which was used until 1961. The line to Lörrach in Baden, Germany, was opened in 1919 and worked till 1967.
Since 1887, the tram from Basel to Rodersdorf, now part of Baselland Transport line n° 10, passed (and passes) through the village of Leymen in Alsace. But that Birsigthalbahn (Birsig Valley Railway) would be joined to the general tram network of Basel as late as in 1984.
From that year until 1936, at least one section of the network was modified each year. In 1934, upon the opening of a new section of line from Margarethenstr. to Binningen, the network reached its greatest length of 72 km (45 mi).
During the two World Wars, services were suspended on the parts of the line extending beyond Switzerland's borders. After World War II, several lines were closed. In 1958, the total length of the network's routes was 51.7 km (32.1 mi).
In 1974, the several companies that had been operating the suburban lines were merged to form the new company bearing the name Baselland Transport AG (BLT).
|1||Dreirosenbrücke Bahnhof SBB ( Badischer Bahnhof)||BVB|
|2||Binningen Kronenplatz Eglisee ( Riehen Dorf)||BVB|
|3||Saint-Louis (France) Birsfelden Hard||BVB|
|6||Allschwil Riehen Grenze||BVB|
|8||Neuweilerstrasse Weil am Rhein (Germany)||BVB|
|11||St. Louis Grenze Aesch||BLT|
|21||Bahnhof St. Johann Badischer Bahnhof||BVB|
The Basel tram network is unusual in crossing international borders.
Line 10 to Rodersdorf runs via Leymen in France. For customs purposes the trams operate through France as privileged transit traffic. Passengers remaining on the tram are not subject to customs rules. Passengers may get on or off the tram in Leymen only if they are carrying goods within the customs limits.
In 2014, line 8 was extended across the border to Weil am Rhein station, in Germany.
Construction started in 2015 to extend Line 3 from its then-terminus at Bourgfelden Grenze to Saint-Louis station in France. The extension opened in 2017. Late-night services on the cross-border line were suspended in 2019 due to a series of attacks in which laser pointers were used to obstruct the vision of tram operators.