Trams in Basel

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Basel tramway network
A BLT tram in Basel.
Locale Basel, Switzerland
Open 6 May 1892 (1892-05-06)
Status Operational
Lines 12
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge
Electrification 650 V DC[1]
Map of the network in 2009.
Website Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (German)

The Basel tramway network (German: Basler Strassenbahn-Netz) is a network of tramways forming part of the public transport system in Basel, a city in Switzerland, and its two associated cantons. 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).

BVB is owned by, and operates in, Basel-Stadt, the small canton containing the inner city. 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.

BLT is owned by Basel-Land, and its yellow and red trams operate in the outer suburbs to the south of Basel.[2] 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.

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[3] (nine operated by BVB,[3][4] and three operated by BLT[3]), with a total line length of 65.7 kilometres (40.8 mi).[4][5]

No. Route Operator Route map
1 Dreirosenbrücke ↔ Bahnhof SBB (↔ Badischer Bahnhof) BVB Route 1
2 Binningen Kronenplatz ↔ Eglisee (↔ Riehen Dorf) BVB Route 2
3 Burgfelden Grenze ↔ 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[edit]

The Basel tram network is unusual in crossing international borders.

Line 10 to Rodersdorf runs via Leymen in France. For customs purposes the trains operate through France as transit trains. Passengers remaining on the train are not subject to customs rules. Passengers may only get on or off the train in Leymen if they only have goods within the customs limits.

In 2014, line 8 has been extended across the border to Weil am Rhein station, in Germany.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Schweiz. Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH. 2012. p. 62. ISBN 978-3-89494-130-7. 
  2. ^ "Geschichte (history)". Baselland Transport. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Fahrplan & Netz - Haltestellenfahrplan 13/14" [Timetable & Network - Stops Timetable '13/'14] (in German). Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB). 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  4. ^ a b "Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe - Facts & Figures" (in German). Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB). 31 December 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  5. ^ "Unternehmen BVB - Portrait" [BVB Company - Portrait] (in German). Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB). 2009. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 


  • 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.  (German) (English)

External links[edit]

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