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Trolleybus city: Basel [Schweiz]

General Information

Trolleybus 929 on route 33, Foto: DI J. Lehmann. 23.02.2000
City: Basel (188.310 citizens)
Country: Schweiz
Opened: 31.07.1941
Shut down: 30.06.2008
Network: 4,9 km
Length: 4,9 km
Lines: 1
Vehicles: 8 Trolleybuses
Operator: BVB
Remarks: Last ride on monday, 30.06.2008, trolleybuses were saled to East-Europa.

Present State

For route 31, which requires five vehicles to operate, there are currently eight Neoplan articulated Trolleybuses available. Proposals to convert all bus routes to diesel bus were rejected and after a survey was submitted a decision to convert this route to gas powered buses is being considered. The overhead for the two closed down Trolleybus routes 33 and 34 is still intact and there are no sign of pending dismantling.

News for Basel

Date Headline
23.06.2008 Wrong decision will be completed
30.04.2008 Short sighted decision
12.01.2007 The population will decide about the future of the Trolleybus System

Trolleybus 918 on route 33, Foto: DI J. Lehmann. 23.02.2000


line route length frequency1
31 Claraplatz - Riehen-Habermatten km 1941-48

1 frequency: minutes peak / off peak

Lines: 1


numbers quant. vehicle delivery
924-927, 929-931, 933 8 Neoplan/MM 1995/6

Vehicles: 8 trolleybuses

trolleybus 360 in front of the Badischer Bahnhof, Foto: DI J. Lehmann, 10.02.1988


The 31st. of July 1941 saw the inauguration of the first Trolleybus route in Basle. It was served by a single Trolleybus and was originally a diesel bus route terminating at "Friedhof Hörnli". On the 7th. of September 1941 a second Trolleybus was acquired. Of particular interest was the fact that these two Trolleybuses also had a diesel motor which enabled them to traverse stretches where there was no overhead wiring. This was the case, for example, when the vehicles left and returned to the Wiesenplatz depot. During 1942 two further Trolleybuses arrived which, curiously enough, were former diesel buses which had been converted to trolleybuses after having been damaged by fire.
Route 31 which, until 1954 was designated the route number "C", was extended on the 25th. of October 1948 as far as Habermatten for which a further two Trolleybuses were acquired. The 30th. of January 1956 saw conversion of diesel bus route 34 to Trolleybus operation. During the two years 1955 and 1956 thirteen new trolleybuses were purchased which brought the fleet strength up to nineteen vehicles. All the vehicles which were used to serve these two routes were solo vehicles. The third, and final route, came into operation on 24.10.1968. Altogether ten new articulated Trolleybuses were purchased for this new route. The majority of the two axle solo vehicles were replaced during 1975 by a further 10 new articulated Trolleybuses and a subsequently two second hand articulated Trolleybuses from Kaiserslautern. The remaining solo vehicles together with the ten articulated Trolleybuses from 1968 were also eventually replaced by twelve Neoplan Trolleybuses with innovative hub motor and flywheel technology.
On the 9th. of September 2000 the first Trolleybus route, route 34, was combined with the diesel bus route 38 enabling the operating company to close down this Trolleybus route. The vehicles used on this route, the ten articulated FBW/FHS,Hess/SAAS Trolleybuses purchased in 1975 which were designated the internal numbers 911 to 920, and the two Daimler Benz Trolleybuses nos. 921 and 922 purchased second hand from Kaiserslautern were sold to Bulgaria.
Route 33 followed the same fate some four years later when it was rerouted and taken over by diesel buses on 13.12.2004. Of the twelve remaining Neoplan articulated trolleybuses four were withdrawn from service and used as donor vehicles for the remaining eight. The prototype was the first one scrapped in early 2005.

Trolleybus 53 at Habermatten on 04.07.1955, Foto Heyneck, Sammlung W. Stock