December 12, 2017

New cross-border tram line opens in Basle

Written by  Anitra Green
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A Basle tram heads for St Louis in France. A Basle tram heads for St Louis in France.

A new SFr 87m ($US 87.7m) tram link between the Swiss city of Basle and the French town of St Louis in Alsace was officially opened on December 9 after two years of construction, reviving a cross-border tram service which closed around 60 years ago.


The 3.1km link, which includes a new turning loop, is an extension of Line 3. It comprises just 500m in Switzerland and 2.6km and four stops in France, and terminates at St Louis railway station.


Every second tram on the Line 3 now crosses the border, enabling Basle Transport Authority (BVB) to provide a 15-minute-interval service using Bombardier Flexity trams.

The new service represents another milestone in the process of improving public transport connections in this area of Europe, known as the Three Countries Corner. It is estimated that about 30,000 people commute from Alsace to their workplace in Basle every day, and it is expected that a significant proportion will switch to the new tram link especially when a new park-and-ride facility with 740 parking places, which is under construction next to St Louis station as part of the project, opens in spring 2018.

The St Louis connection is not the only link with France, since tram Line 10 to Rodersdorf is routed via the French village of Leymen as “privileged transit traffic.” It is the second international tram link serving Basle, as Line 8 was extended across the German border to Weil am Rhein station in 2014.

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