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. The only through trains to and from France which run beyond Basel are now the Paris - Zürich TGVs which use 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 de 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 de 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 10 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)

[E*] Having closed on 1 June 1996, Boncourt - Delle reopened on 10 December 2006. Delle - Belfort (closed to passengers 26 September 1992) reopened from 9 December 2018, now electrified at 25 kV. CFF services will run only between Delle and Belfort TGV; only SNCF services will run through between Delle and Belfort.

(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. (In previous timetables CFF 560 units provided peak hour services whicj termonated at Le Locle-Col-des-Roches) Four SNCF class X73500 railcars are equipped with the Integra-Signum train protection system used in Switzerland. When the Swiss section of the line is converted to ERTMS, it is understood that the French KVB system will also be installed to permit continued SNCF operation to La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Due to engineering work all trains will be replaced by buses from March 3 to October 31 2024 (both inclusive)

Pontarlier SNCF - Travers CFF (- Neuchâtel)

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

(Pontarlier -) Les Hôpitaux-Neufs-Jougne SNCF - Vallorbe CFF

Line closed. Passenger traffic ended on April 18 1939 and freight on June 17 1940, never to resume, and the line was officially closed in 1954. Freight traffic from Pontarlier to Les Hôpitaux lasted until November 3 1969. The preservation society Coni'fer has progressively reopened the French section of the line northwards from Les Hôpitaux since 1994.

(Frasne -) Labergement-Sainte-Marie SNCF - Vallorbe CFF (- Lausanne)

[E*] Daytime cross-border passenger trains comprise multi-system TGVs between Paris and Lausanne and one morning TER service from Pontarlier to Vallorbe, which reverses at Frasne, returning in the evening. 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)

(Annemasse -) Gaillard Libération TPG - Moillesulaz TPG (- Genève)

[E] Metre gauge. The Transports Publics Genevois tram route 17 is being extended from the frontier at Moillesulaz to Annemasse. The first 3.3 km to Annemasse-Parc Montessuit opened on 15 December 2019, with a further section to Lycée des Glières originally due to open in 2022 but now delayed until December 2025

Annemasse SNCF - Chêne-Bourg CFF (- Genève-Cornavin)

[E*] This line, originally an SNCF branch from Annemasse to Genève-Eaux-Vives, was inaugurated as a through line between Annemasse and Genève-Cornavin on 12 December 2019. Regular operations began on 15 December 2019. Unusually for both French and Swiss railways, the line has right-hand running. It belongs to the Swiss railways (CFF) from a point a few hundred metres west of Annemasse, but the service is run jointly by CFF and SNCF with a part of the train fleet owned by each company. The line is electrified at the Swiss standard 15 kV 16.7 Hz, apart from the last couple of hundred metres into Annemasse station which are at the French standard 25 kV 50 Hz. Dual-frequency rolling stock is therefore required. There are no freight services across the border.

The original branch, which was owned by CFEG (Chemin de Fer de l'État de Genève) west of the current SNCF/CFF boundary, was operated by SNCF throughout using dual-frequency rolling stock, although the branch was electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz. The line was cut back from Genève-Eaux-Vives to the previously closed station of Chêne-Bourg on 28 November 2011 and was closed completely from 1 April 2013 for rebuilding on a mainly underground route through to Lancy-Pont-Rouge.

(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 27 September 1998 due to the poor condition of the track. The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, supported by the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Valais, has been investigating the renovation of the line, with the latest study due to report in 2022. Work, if authorised, is projected to start in 2024 with re-opening due in 2027. CFF runs an hourly service to St Gingolph (Suisse).

(Chamonix -) Vallorcine SNCF - Le Châtelard-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 Châtelard-Frontière and at 750V dc, mixed overhead and third-rail, on the Martigny-Châtelard line from Le Châtelard-Frontière 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 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