Milestone for upgrade of Karlsruhe–Basel line

DB Cargo class 185 locomotive in Germany, hauling steel to Basel.

Milestone for upgrade of Karlsruhe–Basel line

Increased capacity for freight trains.

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has completed an important step in its upgrade of the Rhine Valley Railway between Karlsruhe and Basel. DB put a new group of tracks for freight trains into service at the busy border crossing between Weil am Rhein, Germany, and Basel, Switzerland, on Monday, 29 April 2024.

Improved, more eco-friendly rail infrastructure

The upgrade between Karlsruhe and Basel is transforming rail infrastructure along Europe's Rhine-Alpine Corridor, providing a major boost for eco-friendly freight transport. The new group of tracks runs parallel to the existing Rhine Valley Railway between Weil am Rhein station in Germany and the River Wiese in Switzerland. It includes a total of six new tracks; two will be used for through freight traffic and the other four for customs clearance and for changing freight train locomotives and crews.

For smooth, low-noise rail traffic

For the upgrade, DB laid around twelve kilometres of track, overhauled a rail bridge, and erected two new noise barriers with a total length of around 780 metres for the benefit of local residents. To minimise disruption to rail traffic, upgrades to the Basel node are taking place in several stages, with completed sections entering service successively. 

Until now, part of Weil am Rhein station has been used for handling freight trains. To ensure smooth rail service in the border region between Haltingen, Weil am Rhein and Basel, DB has been converting Weil am Rhein station into a station purely for passenger and through traffic since the beginning of 2024.