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Rail Link For Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg EuroAirport  
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

Does anyone know if the plans are still on to construct a rail link to Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg EuroAirport? I read on a website that the plans are to have a rail link by 2010, but that seems a bit ambitious.

Also, I believe the original plans were that the airport would only be served by Basel's Regio-S-Bahn going between Basel and Mulhouse. Does anyone know if they are considering mainline SBB CFF FFS service or maybe even SNCF or DB service?

In Switzerland, currently Zurich's and Geneva's airports are connected to the main SBB CFF FFS rail network. Geneva's airport gets 88 trains per day while Zurich's airport gets 300 trains per day including the S2 and S16 S-Bahn lines.

I think a rail link to EuroAirport would be an excellent idea and I think S-Bahn is plenty sufficient, especially since the Basel Regio-S-Bahn now has those new Swiss-made Stadler FLIRT EMU trains.

On a side note, does anyone know when Zurich's airport was connected to the SBB CFF FFS network? I read it was the first airport in the world to be connected to a mainline railway system.

Geneva's airport I know was connected to the SBB CFF FFS network on May 25, 1987.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Regards


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4971 times:

The proposed airport link is still on track. It was accepted by the Swiss people as part of a programm to link Switzerland to the international high speed network ( a little bit curious, because it is more of a regional purpose than an intenational link, but anyway).
I haven't seen exact service patterns for the future, but I would expect that they will extend some domestic long haul trains from Basel to the airport in the same way it is handeled in Geneve today. But it is still a technical question, because if they use the French electric voltage as currently, it would not permit the usual domestic trains.


User currently offlineFelixZRH From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 226 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
On a side note, does anyone know when Zurich's airport was connected to the SBB CFF FFS network? I read it was the first airport in the world to be connected to a mainline railway system.

I made a quick search (in German) and found the following: Am 1. Juni 1980 wird der Flughafen Zuerich-Kloten an das Bahnnetz der SBB angeschlossen.
And 1980 was also what I remembered so I belive this page.

regards
Felix


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4943 times:

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 1):
I haven't seen exact service patterns for the future, but I would expect that they will extend some domestic long haul trains from Basel to the airport in the same way it is handeled in Geneve today. But it is still a technical question, because if they use the French electric voltage as currently, it would not permit the usual domestic trains.

I think the technical question has a solution. The 10kms between Geneva Cornavan (main station) and the French border are used both by CFF (mainline to airport, and regional services ) and the SNCF (TGV and regional services). (Cornavan has French immigration 'pre-clearance' at the station)

There are also TGV services from Lausanne via Vallorbe to Paris.

Also the Geneva Airport services of the CFF are 'Fishhook' services (i.e. the airport is 'end of the line') All of those 88 trains end or originate at GVA AP. Would likely be the same for Basle.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

Thanks for all the feedback.

Quoting FelixZRH (Reply 2):
I made a quick search (in German) and found the following: Am 1. Juni 1980 wird der Flughafen Zuerich-Kloten an das Bahnnetz der SBB angeschlossen.
And 1980 was also what I remembered so I belive this page.

Thanks Felix! For some reason I thought it was sometime in the 70's.

Quoting ANother (Reply 3):
I think the technical question has a solution. The 10kms between Geneva Cornavan (main station) and the French border are used both by CFF (mainline to airport, and regional services ) and the SNCF (TGV and regional services). (Cornavan has French immigration 'pre-clearance' at the station)

If you are talking about the electrical voltage issue, I read about how they were able to overcome it and it was quite tricky.

As you stated, platforms 7 and 8 in Geneve Cornavin station are used by SNCF. The tracks by those platforms also happen to be electrified for the French voltage which is how French locomotives are able to operate to there. All of the rail lines going west of the station were the French voltage for this very purpose.

In order to allow Swiss trains to reach the airport, they had to build tracks that would cross the French tracks to the otherside, so they could eventually turn north to the airport (the fishhook). They electrified these new tracks under the Swiss voltage. What's interesting is how they were able to do this with the tracks that cross the French voltage tracks. I assume they somehow switch off the electric current for the French tracks temporarily to allow the Swiss trains to cross them? Or maybe the overhead Swiss catenary that crosses the French catenary is designed in such a way to allow it. I'm not really sure.

Basel's Regio-S-Bahn goes into France going all the way to Mulhouse and it does this with trains that are capable of handling multi-voltages. I guess they have transformers on top of them to convert the current.

Quoting ANother (Reply 3):
There are also TGV services from Lausanne via Vallorbe to Paris.

The TGVs that operate into Switzerland are capable of multi-voltages just like the Basel Regio-S-Bahn trains.

Quoting ANother (Reply 3):
Also the Geneva Airport services of the CFF are 'Fishhook' services (i.e. the airport is 'end of the line') All of those 88 trains end or originate at GVA AP. Would likely be the same for Basle.

Since regular Swiss trains are single-voltage, I think the issue to the airport will be a complicated issue.

If they want to have regular Swiss trains reach it, they will have to build a dedicated track electrified under the Swiss voltage and it would have to be an end-of-the-line station like how GVA's station is.

The other option would be to build it under the French voltage and that way they can connect it to the line that goes to Mulhouse. However, if they go with this option, it can only be served by Basel's multi-voltage Regio-S-Bahn trains (which I believe was the original plan).

Connecting it to Freiburg in Germany will also be complicated because Germany's rail lines have the same voltage as in Switzerland, so DB will also need multi-voltage trains to operate to the airport should they want to. Either that, or build a dedicated rail line electrified under the Swiss/German voltage.

Perhaps connecting it to Freiburg is not important though, at least for now.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4909 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 4):
If you are talking about the electrical voltage issue,

Yes that's right, but I think it goes beyond your description. The regional trains that run to the pays de Geneve use the same rails as the French regional and TGVs. These train also operate to stations beyond Cornavan (as far as Versoix or Coppet), I think.

In any case, all they really need to do is switch engines at Basle - which takes about two minutes - so through trains might need a slightly longer stop time.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4898 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 5):
Yes that's right, but I think it goes beyond your description. The regional trains that run to the pays de Geneve use the same rails as the French regional and TGVs. These train also operate to stations beyond Cornavan (as far as Versoix or Coppet), I think.

If you are talking about these trains:
http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/ch/...mu/Bem550/CFF_Bem_550_000-4_GE.jpg

Then those run on the same voltage that French trains run at. SBB CFF FFS bought 4 of those "light" trains to be used between Geneve and Bellegarde (in France) and they can only run west of Geneve since they run on the same voltage as the French trains do. They run along with those French regionals you are talking about. These are the trains that SNCF uses in conjunction:
http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/fr/electric/emu/Z9600/img0305.jpg

Some trains stop at La Plaine very close to the border with France while others continue to Bellegarde.

Quoting ANother (Reply 5):
These train also operate to stations beyond Cornavan (as far as Versoix or Coppet), I think.

Versoix and Coppet are east of Geneve and the lines are electrified under the Swiss voltage which is why regular Swiss trains run through them and why regionals serve them.

French regional trains do not serve Versoix or Coppet and cannot either because of the voltage issue.

French regional trains will only reach Geneve Cornavin, then go back to France.

And as I said, the TGV that are used to Lausanne and Zurich are multi-voltage trains which is how they run on the Swiss voltage.

TGV's don't run between Geneve and Lausanne either. TGVs that go to Geneve terminate in Geneve and these I believe are the single voltage TGV trains since the multi-voltage isn't needed. The ones that go to Lausanne enter from Vallorbe and head southeast straight into Lausanne and these have to be multi-voltage TGV trains.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4805 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 4):
In order to allow Swiss trains to reach the airport, they had to build tracks that would cross the French tracks to the otherside, so they could eventually turn north to the airport (the fishhook). They electrified these new tracks under the Swiss voltage. What's interesting is how they were able to do this with the tracks that cross the French voltage tracks. I assume they somehow switch off the electric current for the French tracks temporarily to allow the Swiss trains to cross them? Or maybe the overhead Swiss catenary that crosses the French catenary is designed in such a way to allow it. I'm not really sure.

It is simply done by a fly-over.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4760 times:

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 7):
It is simply done by a fly-over.

That's the thing. There isn't a flyover.

I've traveled the route so many times.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5569 posts, RR: 36
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4750 times:

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 1):
( a little bit curious, because it is more of a regional purpose than an intenational link, but anyway).

I really hope they will have intercity trains which can connect BSL and ZRH. When these airports could work together with a fast rail link, it would be really great and solve many problems of both airports. With a fast rail link (traveling time about 50 min) at least twice per hour you even could connect from one to the other airport. I think this would be best improvement for Swiss aviation in the next years.

Quoting FelixZRH (Reply 2):
I made a quick search (in German) and found the following: Am 1. Juni 1980 wird der Flughafen Zuerich-Kloten an das Bahnnetz der SBB angeschlossen.

Yes 1980. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was in the first (special) train from the airport. She then was on visit in Switzerland.

Quoting BA (Reply 4):
Since regular Swiss trains are single-voltage, I think the issue to the airport will be a complicated issue.

The Swiss SBB already has some multi voltage engines. They of course needed more for this route, but I think this is a minor problem.


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4738 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 6):
f you are talking about these trains:

I was about to
 white  when the server went down!


User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4709 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 8):
That's the thing. There isn't a flyover.

I've traveled the route so many times.

Regards

It is hard to see, because it is actually more of a 'fly-under' of one tunnel under the other.

When you leave Geneve with a train to the airport, then you have the single French wired track on the north. Shortly after leaving the station you enter an 800m long tunnel. After the tunnel you will realize that French track from the north side isn't there anymore. One kilometer later you can see the French track ascending a tunnel on the south side.

So while the Swiss wired tracks drives through the 800m long 'Tranch Couverte Geneve', the French wired track surpasses your tunnel through the 1700m long tunnel called 'Saut-de Mouton'.


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8455 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4678 times:
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The most amusing thing about this is the name... I visit Freiburg regularly and it is MILES from this airport, not even in the same country! What about naming the airport after all the towns in between?


After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4120 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4658 times:

Basel, Mulhouse and Freiburg are the three big agglomerations in EuroAirport's catchment area. There's no problem in naming the airport like that in my opinion.

Regards,
RJ100



none
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4600 times:

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 11):
It is hard to see, because it is actually more of a 'fly-under' of one tunnel under the other.

Interesting JoFMO, I'll have to be sure to pay attention next time.

Why do the French tracks have to go through a tunnel?

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4594 times:

It is a fly-under under a covered track. So it has to lie very deep, therefore it resulted in beeing a tunnel.

User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4120 posts, RR: 29
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4537 times:

Today there was also a big report in the local newspaper about the rail link. The current bus service is not able to take up all passengers, in fact a lot of people need to wait simply because the bus is overcrowded.

The bus company now introduced a higher frequency on this line and a further improvement will be announced soon. They need to hurry since easyJet is basing a fourth aircraft in BSL soon which will give an additional boost to the traffic numbers.

In the meantime, BSL airport is booming. Passenger growth this year is exceeding 30% with a further substantial growth expected next year. With approximately 3.5 mio passengers, the airport will reach it's second best result in history and it's best result in history in terms of local o&d passengers.

However, it seems that the rail link will take some time. But it also seems that they are thinking about a quick solution until they build the train staiton at the airport. This plan is to use the existing train station at Saint-Louis and offering a shuttle bus from there to the terminal.

Regards,
RJ100



none
User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4120 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4470 times:

Swiss Tv today showed a very interesting report about BSL airport. The airport director does not believe that the airport gets a train station earlier than in 6-8 years due to the fact that Switzerland and France do not find a solution how to pay it. Or in other words, the French refuse to pay.  Wink

However, he said that next year EAP will serve more than 4 millions passengers- a new record. And that also means that he knows things that we do not know (new services!).

Regards,
RJ100



none
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4442 times:

Quoting RJ100 (Reply 16):
This plan is to use the existing train station at Saint-Louis and offering a shuttle bus from there to the terminal.

This I think would be an excellent idea. St. Louis is well-served by the S1 Regio-S-Bahn line and this would improve connections to EuroAirport from both Basel and Mulhouse.

Whenever I fly into Zurich or Geneva, I always ride the train to the city, always. It'll be great once EuroAirport is connected by rail.

Thanks for the update RJ100.  Smile

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4120 posts, RR: 29
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4409 times:

I think this would be a good decision as well. There is also a rumour about a second bus line to the city of Basel, connecting the German railway station and several chemical/pharma plants with the airport. And there is also Transferbus (bus line to/from Zurich) which thinks about linking EAP with several other Swiss cities (Bern would be a good idea).

Regards,
RJ100



none
User currently offlineSQ7345 From Switzerland, joined Feb 2004, 78 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4394 times:

I am driving to the Airport each morning and I can tell you it's a pain in the neck if the place were you are working is only reachable by roadtransport. If for whatever reason the street to the airport is closed all pax ex switzerland are stuck. I can only encourage everbody to help connect EuroAirport as soon as possible to the Railsystem.

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