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Basel region (Germany/ Switzerland/ France)

Despite using essentially the same power system, specially-equipped stock has to be used for cross-border electric trains, because of the different dimensions of the pantographs (and the corresponding "zig-zag" catenary) and vehicle loading gauges.
In particular, the contact-strip of DB/ÖBB-pantos (1950mm) is too wide for the SBB network and on the other hand the SBB's narrow strip (1450mm) might lose contact with the wire in Germany or Austria.
related articles
border lines Switzerland - Germany
border lines Switzerland - France

map of Swiss network
map of German network
map of French network

related links

BLS and SBB locos at Basel Badischer Bahnhof
locos of BLS and SBB at
Basel Bad. Bf
©2002 Tobias B√ľckle
"Rollende Landstrasse"
BLS 465 circumscribes Weil
heading southbound
©2002 Tobias B√ľckle
Crossing the Rhine
BLS 185 crossing the Rhine
©2002 St√©phane Kolly

In most cases DB (Railion) locos are attached to northbound freight trains in SBB RB (Muttenz), while southbound freight trains change locos in Basel Bad Rbf or Weil. Several southbound Rola services (e.g. TEC 42625 Freiburg - Novara) leave Basel Bad Rbf northbound due to easier boarding of cars. After bypassing Weil they turn towards Switzerland. With the increasing number of dual-system locos (like Railion class 185, SBB class 421 and 482, BLS class 485) also the amount of trains running through has grown during the last years.
SBB works passenger-trains to and from Basel Badischer Bahnhof via the Basel avoiding line, but all other passenger-trains are operated by DB, including those between Germany and Basel SBB. The bridge passing river Rhine will be extended by two tracks until 2007.
Bay platforms at the west end of Basel (named Basel SNCF) are used by SNCF trains terminating or starting at Basel. These bays are electrified at 25kV; the west end of the adjacent through platform is switchable, with a light display indicating "15" or "25" as appropriate. Dual-frequency multiple-units work local trains running through between Mulhouse and Pratteln. Long distance through trains between France and Switzerland are shunted between the two parts of the station by SBB dual-frequency shunting locomotives. Freight trains between France and goods yards in Basel are hauled by SNCF dual-frequency locomotives.

BLS 465 entering Muttenz
SBB 482 010 entering Muttenz
DB 155 055 arrives at Muttenz
SNCF 20202 entering Muttenz
several trains entering Muttenz freight yard
©2004 Marc Striffeler

map of Basel region
Thanks to Bernd Winter

top of page page last updated: 26. March 2018 ©1998-2013 Thorsten Büker top of page
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