Border Crossings: France - Switzerland

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  • The Regio-S-Bahn Basel map may assist with understanding cross-border routes in the Basel-area.

(Mulhouse -) St Louis (Haut Rhin) SNCF - Basel St. Johann SBB (- Basel SBB)

[E*] Bay platforms at the west end of Basel SBB are used by SNCF trains terminating or starting at Basel. These bays are electrified at 25 kV; 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 and beyond. Long distance through trains between France and Switzerland are shunted between the two parts of the station by SBB dual-frequency shunting locomotives, except for the through Paris - Zürich TGVs which use only the Basel SBB platforms. Freight trains between France and goods yards in Basel are hauled by SNCF dual-frequency locomotives.

(Basel -) Burgfelderhof BVB – Saint-Exupéry BVB (- Gare St Louis(Haut-Rhin))

[E] Metre gauge. The Basler Verkehrsbetriebe tram route 3 was extended from Burgfelden Grenze (renamed Waldighoferstrasse) to Burgfelderhof on 31 July 2017 and to Gare St Louis on 10 December 2017.

Burgfelderhof lies on the border, with the platforms in Switzerland but the middle of the reversing loop in France.

(Basel -) Flüh BLT - Leymen (France) - Rodersdorf BLT

[E] Metre gauge. The Baselland Transport tram route to Rodersdorf passes through France, where there is one stop at Leymen. Trams run on reserved track at this point, the line originally having been a railway, the Birsigtalbahn.

(Belfort -) Delle SNCF - Boncourt CFF (- Delémont)

[DE] Having closed on 1 June 1996, the line as far as Delle re-opened to CFF passenger services on 10 December 2006. The SNCF service between Delle and Belfort will resume in the second half of 2018.

(Besançon -) Morteau SNCF - Le Locle Col des Roches CFF (- La Chaux de Fonds)

[DE] SNCF works to La Chaux de Fonds and provides the only train service at Le Locle Col-des-Roches, despite this being a CFF station. Four SNCF class X73500 railcars are equipped with the Integra-Signum train protection system used in Switzerland. However, this system may be superseded after 2017, whereupon authority for SNCF to run on these lines may cease.

(Pontarlier -) La Cluse et Mijoux SNCF - Les Verrières CFF (- Neuchâtel)

[E*] Direct trains no longer run between Paris and Neuchâtel, but three RE return workings between Frasne and Neuchâtel, operated by CFF or BLS, provide connections into and out of Paris - Lausanne TGV services.

(Frasne -) Les Tavins SNCF - Vallorbe CFF (- Lausanne)

[E*] All daytime cross-border passenger trains are multi-system TGVs running between Paris and Lausanne. Overnight and freight trains are worked by SNCF to Vallorbe where tracks can be fed at 25kV 50Hz or 15kV 16.7Hz. The summit of the Simplon route from Paris to Milano is at Les Longevilles-Rochejan (897m above sea level) at the French end of the Mont d’Or tunnel, which crosses the border.

(Bellegarde -) Pougny-Chancy SNCF - La Plaine CFF (- Genève)

[E*] SNCF works TGV services to Genève, almost all of which terminate there. The line is electrified at 25 kV and signalled to SNCF standards from the border to both the passenger station and La Praille goods depot. CFF operates a local service between Genève and La Plaine/Bellegarde, using dual voltage 15/25 kV rolling stock. Separate tracks, parallel to the 25 kV tracks, are used by CFF trains to and from Genève Aéroport. At Genève Cornavin station the electrification arrangement is as follows:

  • Platforms 1 to 4: 15 kV
  • Platform 5: 25 kV (bay platform used by the CFF La Plaine/Bellegarde shuttle service)
  • Platforms 6 and 7: switchable 15/25 kV
  • Platform 8: 25 kV (used by terminating/originating SNCF services)

(Genève -) Moillesulaz TPG - La Tour (- Annemasse) TPG

[E] Metre gauge. Work started in February 2017 to extend the Transports Publics Genevois tram route 12 from the frontier at Moillesulaz to Annemasse. The first 3.3 km to Parc Montessuit should open November 2019, thence to Annemasse (Lycée des Glières) in 2022.

(Annemasse -) Ambilly SNCF - Chêne-Bourg (- Genève Eaux Vives) SNCF

[E] This is part of the SNCF system and was operated by SNCF throughout using dual-frequency rolling stock, though the branch itself is electrified at 25kV 50Hz. There is no freight traffic. Genève Eaux Vives closed with effect from 28 November 2011 to facilitate construction of the new underground line to link this line with Genève la Praille. Thereafter the service ran to the previously closed station of Chêne-Bourg, which itself closed temporarily from 1 April 2013. The line was planned to be reopened in 2017 - partly diverted, wholly re-engineered, and linked to Genève Cornavin. However, full commissioning has been postponed to December 2019 and could be further delayed by new objections from residents.

(Evian-les-Bains -) St Gingolph SNCF - St Gingolph (Suisse) CFF (- Bouveret)

[DE] This line was used by freight until 1988 and by a summer-only tourist service but no traffic has run since 1999 due to the poor condition of the track. However, Rhône-Alpes region, supported by the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Valais, is continuing studies of the renovation of the line. CFF runs a limited passenger train service to St Gingolph (Suisse).

(Chamonix -) Vallorcine SNCF - Le Chatelard Frontière SNCF/MC (- Martigny MC)

[E*] This is a metre-gauge line, electrified at 750V dc third rail on the SNCF line from St Gervais-les-Bains to Le Chatelard Frontiere and at 750V dc, mixed overhead and third-rail, on the Martigny-Chatelard line from Le Chatelard Frontier to Martigny. Until conversion of the MC to overhead was completed in 1997, this was the only international railway to be electrified with conductor rails both sides of the border. Both MC and SNCF have recently acquired new trains capable of running through between the two systems. Previously the two railways’ motor coaches were incompatible and through working was possible only by trailer vehicles.

See also