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German Catenary and Signalling in Basle

Clive Dean
 

Having watched this cab ride video on You Tube, when at 3.15 the train enters Switzerland, I'd like to ask why the catenary is of German type until the border, with the signalling changing near but not at the border. https://youtu.be/u5ZmrTJs47Q?t=195. Is this historical due to the builder of the railway, or for some other reason. At most country borders, but not all by any means, the catenary usually changes at the border and the signalling at the station at which most loco changes (if any) are made.

Guerbetaler
 

Am 20.07.2019 um 15:39 schrieb Clive Dean:
Having watched this cab ride video on You Tube, when at 3.15 the
train enters Switzerland, I'd like to ask why the catenary is of
German type until the border, with the signalling changing near but
not at the border. https://youtu.be/u5ZmrTJs47Q?t=195. Is this
historical due to the builder of the railway, or for some other
reason. At most country borders, but not all by any means, the
catenary usually changes at the border and the signalling at the
station at which most loco changes (if any) are made.
The train doesn't enter Switzerland at 3:15. The railway border is earlier than the road border. See
<https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=en&topic=ech&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo.pixelkarte-farbe&E=2612513&N=1270481&zoom=9&crosshair=marker>

And the situation around Basel is quite complicated, because, thanks to a common voltage, there is not a single point of change. There is rather a border area, which has been defined in official contracts between Germany and Switzerland. These are the so called "Grenzbetriebsstrecken" which allow a locomotive approved for Germany to reach Muttenz and Basel SBB and allow a locomotive approved for Switzerland to reach Weil am Rhein. Thus, the transition can be made either in Weil or in Muttenz or even in Basel Bad and for passenger trains and in exceptional cases for freight trains in Basel SBB.

This requires the Swiss Infrastructure Manager to have Indusi in addition to EuroZUB/ETCS L1LS into Muttenz and it requires the German Infrastructure Manager (IM) to have EuroZUB/ETCS L1LS in addition to Indusi into Weil am Rhein.

Now, the German IM is always DB Netz. But, because the infrastrucutre to Basel Bad until the Rhine bridge is owned by the German State, IM for this Swiss infrastructure is also DB Netz. They have to obey Swiss laws but generally build to German standards.

At 2:40 you can see tow Eurobalises for EuroZUB/ETCS L1LS followed by Indusi on the right hand side, again at 2:44/2:45, at 3:44/3:50 and at 4:08/4:12.

Markus, Gürbetal

Clive Dean
 

Thanks for that comprehensive reply Markus. Could I ask why the infrastructure until the Rhine Bridge is owned by the German state?

Guerbetaler
 

Am 20.07.2019 um 23:07 schrieb Clive Dean:
Could I ask why the infrastructure until the Rhine Bridge is owned by
the German state?
The Badische Staaatsbahn at that time was building a line up the right side of the Rhine (sides on rivers are always looking in the direction the water flows). In Basel it reached Swiss territory as the border exceptionally doesn't follow the river. In 1852 a - still valid - treaty between the Swiss Confederation and the state of Baden fixed the important questions. They built their own station on the right side of the Rhein, in Kleinbasel as it is called, opened 1855. Construction was immediately continued in the direction of Singen/Konstanz and the line also crosses the canton of Schaffhausen, another Swiss area on the right side of the Rhine. This was opened in 1863. Already in 1859 a bridge was built between Waldshut and Koblenz, which was the first connection between the German and the Swiss network.

Only in 1873, 18 years later, a connection was built between Basel Badischer Bahnhof and Basel Centralbahnhof (the station of SCB).

The Badische Staatsbahn was integrated into the Deutsche Reichsbahn and became Deutsche Bundesbahn after WW II. When DB became a separate company, Germany didn't transfer the infrastructure in Switzerland, but contracted DB Netz AG to operate it. Thus the very special status of this infrastructure. Today the swiss confederation subsidizes operation and maintenance of this German infrastructure. On the other hand, Swiss track access charges are valid, not the German system. And all this based on a treaty of 1852!

<https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classified-compilation/18520001/index.html>
(only available in German, French and Italian)

To add another little oddity: The Badische Staatsbahn had started to build its network with a gauge of 1600 mm (5'3") and had reached Weil am Rhein, when it was decided to standardize the gauge, which was effectuated in 1854/55, just before crossing the border into Switzerland. So we never had 1600 mm in Switzerland...

Markus, Gürbetal

Chris Wood
 

Markus writes:

To add another little oddity: The Badische Staatsbahn had started to build its network with a gauge of 1600 mm (5'3") and
had reached Weil am Rhein, when it was decided to standardize the gauge, which was effectuated in 1854/55, just before
crossing the border into Switzerland. So we never had 1600 mm in Switzerland
I thought that the original Zürich–Baden railway (the Spanisch-Brötli-Bahn) was built to 1600mm gauge when it opened (1847), and re-gauged around the same time as the Badische Staatsbahn (1854).

Guerbetaler
 

Am 22.07.2019 um 16:14 schrieb Chris Wood via Groups.Io:
Markus writes:
... So we never had 1600 mm in Switzerland
I thought that the original Zürich–Baden railway (the
Spanisch-Brötli-Bahn) was built to 1600mm gauge when it opened
(1847), and re-gauged around the same time as the Badische Staatsbahn
(1854).
We never had 1600 mm in Switzerland, for sure.

Maybe some article writer mixed up Baden and Baden at some time. sounds very similar. :-) But I have never seen such an erroneous information anywhere.

Markus, Gürbetal

Andrew Moglestue
 

I believe the original Badischer Bahnhof, before the connecting line was built, was located on the site of the present Messe.

Clive Dean
 

Thank you for further very comprehensive reply Marcus. All very
interestingly. Also your comments on other border crossings.

Guerbetaler
 

Am 22.07.2019 um 16:36 schrieb Andrew Moglestue via Groups.Io:
I believe the original Badischer Bahnhof, before the connecting line
was built, was located on the site of the present Messe.
This is partly correct. Yes it was on the site of the present Messe, but
it was also after the connecting line was built. Relocation was only in
1913.

<https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=en&topic=ech&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo.swissimage&layers=ch.swisstopo.zeitreihen,ch.bfs.gebaeude_wohnungs_register,ch.bav.haltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&layers_visibility=true,false,false,false&layers_timestamp=19121231,,,&E=2612743.85&N=1268475.05&zoom=7>

Markus, Gürbetal