Repair work to bring major disruption to rail services in Basel

Repair work to bring major disruption to rail services in Basel

From March 13, public transport in and around Basel is expected to be heavily disrupted by repairs and engineering works. Here’s what you need to know about the expected timetable changes and cancellations in the region.

Repair works around Basel force rail cancellations

In a statement, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) confirmed that a number of changes to rail services in Basel will soon come about, starting on March 13 and continuing well beyond Easter. The company explained that many of the crucial rail lines around the city, such as between Basel and Olten and Basel and Liestal, are being repaired, expanded or renovated in 2024, necessitating cancellations and disruption. 

SBB said that the cancellations will be worth it, as once completed the renovations will allow for quarter-hourly S-Bahn services between Basel and Liestal and a half-hourly service between Basel, Delémont and Biel / Bienne by the end of 2025. The repairs will also make sure SBB trains remain “safe and punctual.”

What timetable changes will apply to Basel from March 13?

From March 13 to June 24, and again from August 11 to November 8, 2024, train services between Basel and Fricktal will be restricted. From Monday to Friday, from 8am to 4pm, the number of IR36 services (Basel-Zurich Airport) will be reduced in both directions. Passengers are advised to check the official SBB app to see which services are running.

S1 trains between Basel SBB and Laufenburg will also be cut during this time - although the S1 between Basel SBB and Frick will not be affected. Passengers on the route will have to use a replacement bus service between Möhlin and Stein-Säckingen.

Train cancellations at Basel SBB from March 16 to 18

The biggest disruption to Basel trains will take place from March 16 to 18, 2024. During this time, the following connections will be affected:

  • IR27 Basel - Liestal: passengers should use the S3 instead.
  • IC21 Basel - Lugano and IR26 Basel - Locarno: passengers to Ticino should travel via Zurich.
  • IR36 Basel - Frick: passengers should seek alternate rail connections.
  • IR36 Basel - Zurich HB: a replacement train will run between Rheinfelden and Stein-Säckingen.
  • IC51 Basel - Biel / Bienne: a replacement train will run between Aesch and Laufen.
  • TGV Zurich - Basel - Paris Gare de Lyon: some but not all trains will be cancelled.
  • ICE: a number of German long-distance trains will be cancelled (see the Deutsche Bahn website)
  • S3 Olten - Laufen - Porrentruy: trains will not run directly between Olten and Porrentruy; a replacement bus will replace the section between Laufen and Aesch.
  • S1 Basel - Frick / Laufenburg: a replacement train will run between Möhlin and Stein-Säckingen.
  • S6 Basel - Zell im Wiesental: trains will no longer run every half hour.

SBB explained that the heavy disruption is due to construction work at Basel SBB itself, in Muttenz, the Laufental and the Fricktal, along with some repairs to lines in Germany and France.

Easter disruption to grip Basel SBB in 2024

Unfortunately, more cancellations are expected over the holidays. From 1am on March 29 to 4.30am on April 2, no EC, IC21 or IR26 trains will run to Basel. Passengers are encouraged to change in either Olten or Zurich to get to their final destinations.

In fact, the line between Basel and Olten will be the focus for much of the remaining disruption in 2024. From 11.30pm on April 12 to 5am on April 15, trains between the two cities will be heavily restricted. From July 7 to August 12, SBB said it expects “major timetable changes” on the line, including replacing S9 trains with buses. Finally, the same disruption is expected to occur on four weekends from November 16 to December 8.

Those looking to travel on the affected days are strongly encouraged to use the SBB website or app to plan journeys in advance, or seek help from a member of staff. For more information about the disruption, check out the SBB press release.

Thumb image: Markus Mainka /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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