Trams in Basel
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Trams in Basel
Basel tramway network
Tram in Basel BLT.jpg
A BLT tram in Basel.
LocaleBasel, Switzerland
Open6 May 1892 (1892-05-06)
Track gauge
Electrification650 V DC[1]
Track length (double)77 km
Map of the network in 2009.
WebsiteBasler 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.[2][3][4]

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.[5] 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.


Ex-Basel heritage tram Ce 2/2 182 on the Blonay-Chamby Museum Railway.

The first line of the Basel tramway network was opened on 6 May 1895. It followed the route Centralbahnhof-Marktplatz-Mittlere Brücke-Aeschenplatz-Badischer Bahnhof.

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).


BVB tram on line 3.
BLT tram on line 11.

Currently, the Basel tram network is made up of 12 lines[6] (nine operated by BVB,[6][7] and three operated by BLT[6]), with a total line length of 65.7 kilometres (40.8 mi).[7][8]

No. Route Operator Route map
1 Dreirosenbrücke Bahnhof SBB ( Badischer Bahnhof) BVB Route 1
2 Binningen Kronenplatz Eglisee ( Riehen Dorf) BVB Route 2
3 Saint-Louis (France) Birsfelden Hard BVB Route 3
6 Allschwil Riehen Grenze BVB Route 6
8 Neuweilerstrasse Weil am Rhein (Germany) BVB Route 8
10 Rodersdorf Dornach BLT Route 10
11 St. Louis Grenze Aesch BLT Route 11
14 Dreirosenbrücke Pratteln BVB Route 14
15 Messeplatz Bruderholz BVB Route 15
16 Bruderholz Schifflände BVB Route 16
17 Wiesenplatz Ettingen BLT Route 17
21 Bahnhof St. Johann Badischer Bahnhof BVB Route 21

Cross-border routes

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.[9] The extension opened in 2017.[10] 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.[11]

See also



  1. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Schweiz. Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH. 2012. p. 62. ISBN 978-3-89494-130-7.
  2. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland. Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH. 2009. pp. 110-111. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0.
  3. ^ "Tarifverbund Nordwestschweiz" (in German). Trarifverbund Nordwestschweiz. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "triregio - grenzenlos mobil" (in German and French). triregio. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Geschichte (history)". Baselland Transport. Retrieved 2010.
  6. ^ a b c "Fahrplan & Netz - Haltestellenfahrplan 13/14" [Timetable & Network - Stops Timetable '13/'14] (in German). Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB). 2014. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b "Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe - Facts & Figures" (PDF) (in German). Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB). 31 December 2012. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Unternehmen BVB - Portrait" [BVB Company - Portrait] (in German). Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB). 2009. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Tram 3 info". Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ "Switzerland Just Opened the World's Only Tri-National Streetcar System". CityLab. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "'Too dangerous': Basel cancels late-night trams to France". The Local. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 2019.


  • Appenzeller, Stephan (1995). Basel und sein Tram : die Geschichte der Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe [Basel and its Trams: the History of the Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe] (in German). Basel: Christoph-Merian-Verlag. ISBN 3856160639.
  • Bernet, Ralph (2000). Trams in der Schweiz: von Basel bis Zürich: Strassenbahn-Betriebe einst und jetzt [Trams in Switzerland: from Basel to Zurich: Tramway Operators Then and Now] (in German). München: GeraMond-Verlag. ISBN 393278507X.
  • Madörin, Dominik (2003). Das Rollmaterial der Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe [The Rolling Stock of the Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe] (in German). Freiburg (Breisgau): EK-Verlag. ISBN 3882558431.
  • Schwandl, Robert (2010). Schwandl's Tram Atlas Schweiz & Österreich. Berlin: Robert Schwandl Verlag. ISBN 978 3 936573 27 5.(in German) (in English)

External links

Coordinates: 47°33?17?N 7°35?21?E / 47.55472°N 7.58917°E / 47.55472; 7.58917

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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