The heart of Basel

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Planned course
BSicon STRq.svgBSicon eABZq + lr.svgBSicon STRq.svg
from Basel SBB & Mulhouse
The beginning of the tunnel from the Schützenmatte
Basel center
End of the tunnel in front of Badischer Bahnhof
BSicon STRq.svgBSicon eABZqlr.svgBSicon STRq.svg
to Basel Bad Bf and Freiburg Hbf

The name Herzstück Basel (Herzstück for short) is a link between the project of an underground S-Bahn cross-city line in the city of Basel between the two decentralized hubs Bahnhof SBB and Badischer Bahnhof . This connecting piece is intended to close the gap in the trinational S-Bahn network in the Basel region and avoid time-consuming changes of direction as well as changing trains in the two stations. In addition, the centerpiece should enable direct access to the city center by S-Bahn from the Basel region, the Alsatian and southern Baden region. As an option, an underground branch to the St. Johann train station and thus to the industrial and urban development areas in Basel Nord and the EuroAirport will be left open. The current S-Bahn lines S1, S3, S4, S5 and S6 of the S-Bahn in Basel are affected.

The Basel region has, unlike many other cities of similar size ( eg. As Zurich ) no S-Bahn diameter line , here has thus considered by the traffic planners and regional policy a clear pent-up demand.

Development and history

The idea of ​​a diameter line was first put forward in the 1980s by the Regio Basiliensis organization . In 2000, the Basel government councilor Elsbeth Schneider (CVP) put the centerpiece on the political agenda. The canton of Basel-Stadt then commissioned a feasibility study. This was followed in 2002-2004 by a study by the two Basels and the SBB on an underground connection between the SBB train station and the Badischer Bahnhof.

In October 2009, the Basel Grand Council and the Basel District Administrator approved loans of CHF 600,000 each for more detailed planning for the centerpiece. In 2013 the final technical report of the preliminary studies 2008–2012 was published.

In September 2014, the Basel Grand Council approved CHF 20 million and the Basel district administrator approved CHF 10 million for a preliminary project - an announced referendum against the loan from Basel-Stadt did not materialize. The preliminary project defines the infrastructure that is required to implement the service concept for the tri-national S-Bahn. The planning region of Northwestern Switzerland submitted this to the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) on time in November 2014 .

In the template published by the Swiss government at the end of September 2017 for the expansion of the rail infrastructure by 2035, it recognizes the core as “functional”, but it was not on the list of projects planned with federal funds until 2035. The governments of Basel-Land and Basel-Stadt then called on their federal government to make improvements.

At the end of October 2018, the Federal Council presented the consultation draft for STEP 2035 . The project planning funds of around 120 million francs requested by the two Basel governments were not included. For the two cantonal governments, it is “incomprehensible” that the state government did not include the corresponding project planning funds in the STEP message. They announced that they would address their request to the National Council and Council of States, which will discuss and resolve the business.

The decision of the Federal Council not to include the project planning costs in the STEP 2035 due to a lack of maturity, triggered sharp criticism from the Basel region. Among other things, the cantonal parliaments of both Basel passed resolutions for this. In 2019, the National Council and Council of States approved project planning costs for the diameter line of CHF 100 million as part of STEP 2035.


Around 40 implementation options were considered and examined.


In the course of the preliminary studies, various line layouts were up for debate: A north variant would have circumnavigated the city center in a northerly arc, but opened up the industrial and development areas in Basel Nord on the way between the two stations. The middle variant provides for a direct underground connection through Basel city center. This can be linked directly to EuroAirport at a later stage with an option "Y" . The governments of both Basels and the parliamentary commissions that gave preliminary advice gave preference to the middle version because of its better cost-benefit ratio.

The length of the underground connection cannot yet be specified precisely because the lines have not yet been definitively determined. The same applies to the possible stations in Basel city center. Two stations are planned in the areas of Schifflände and Marktplatz in Grossbasel and in the Klybeck area in Kleinbasel. The plan is to build the underground connection using mining, i.e. without open construction sites. The route is designed in such a way that it meets all technical requirements so that it can not only be used by S-Bahn compositions, but also by long-distance trains. It has not yet been decided whether long-distance traffic will ultimately be allowed to use the tunnel.

On April 26, 2017, the planners decided to forego underground stations (i.e. no underground tracks in Basel SBB and Basel Badischer Bahnhof) and instead to build an underground stop in the Klybeck area and under the market square. The “Basel-Mitte” stop is to have a 235 m long platform and exits in the Spiegelhof, in the main post office and on the landing stage. If necessary, a branch is made from Basel-Mitte to Basel-St. Johann and on to the Euro-Airport. A stop can also be opened in the Schützenmatte district if required. A stop can also be opened on the existing SNCF line in the Morgarten district. According to this definitive route, from 2030 trains can travel from Waldshut via Basel Badischer Bahnhof to Basel SBB without turning. In order to find suitable transfer locations in the future, the SBB announced a collaboration with the ETH to promote research on mobility and the effects of new buildings on traffic flows.


Exact information about the costs is not possible at the moment. The costs for the actual core are roughly estimated at 1.5 to 2 billion francs. The cost estimate for the overall expansion of the trinational S-Bahn, including the construction of a new underground station, is around CHF 3.5 billion.

Time schedule

The two Basels are working towards the federal rail infrastructure expansion initiative in the years 2030–2035. 7 to 12 billion francs in federal funds are earmarked for this “Strategic Development Program for Rail Infrastructure (STEP)”. In addition to Basel, other regions also rely on this money.

In 2017, the Federal Council will adopt the consultation draft for the next rail expansion step with a specific proposal for projects. The message will be sent to Parliament at the end of 2018 and the expansion step will be discussed in Parliament from 2019. If the Federal Parliament approves it, it is assumed that the core will go into operation from around 2030.Template: future / in 5 years

Work on the preliminary project is already under way. This specifies the technical and operational benchmarks, on which the detailed planning of the construction project can then take place. In addition, the previous cost estimates are refined to an accuracy of +/- 20%.

Possible new S-Bahn lines

The expansion of the Basel railway junction opens up opportunities to create new connections. Herzog & de Meuron published a proposal in April 2017. He sees a redesign of the Basel S-Bahn network with twelve S-Bahn and Regioexpress lines.

See also


  • Rudolf Dieterle: Future of the Basel railway node, synthesis report, design of the necessary infrastructures for the implementation of a trinational S-Bahn system , version 1.0. April 18, 2017. (Download PDF)
  • Herzog & de Meuron: 2030 S Bahn Basel route map The present of the future. April 2017.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Archived copy ( memento of the original from May 25, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. , Michael Baas: Railway infrastructure: Switzerland wants to put the centerpiece behind - Basel - Badische Zeitung . ( [accessed on November 3, 2017]).
  3. Federal Office of Transport: Expansion step 2035
  4. Basel's “heart” of the railways not in STEP 2035 - both Basel dissatisfied On: from October 31, 2018.
  5. Governments of both Basels satisfied with the National Council's yes to Step 2035 In: bzbasel of June 4, 2019.
  6. Basler Herzstück is completely re-listed. In: April 26, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017 .
  7. 100 million for smarter mobility , NZZ, January 23, 2018
  8. ↑ The future of the Basel rail hub. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 9, 2017 ; accessed on September 9, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /