Change trains in Basel Bad Bf or Basel SBB?

Change trains in Basel Bad Bf or Basel SBB?

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Dennis
Dennis
10 posts
new member
Dec 27, 2017 - 2:01 AM

Hi,

We are planning a trip from Germany (Rothenburg ob der Tauber) to Grindelwald by train in May 2018 and will change at Basel. Which station, Basel Bad Bf or Basel SBB, should I change? We are planning to buy a single journey train ticket (Germany DB) from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Basel and than use 8-day consecutive Swiss Travel Pass. We have already bought Swiss Travel Pass (e-ticket). Cab we use the pass starting from the station Basel Bad Bf? Is there anything we need to do during the transit at Basel, say, pass activation or clearance, etc.? Thanks.

Dennis

(From Hong Kong)

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Dec 27, 2017 - 2:58 AM in reply to Dennis

Hello Dennis and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Basel SBB the main Swiss Railway station in Basel so you should change there. It is where you will get the train to Grindelwald. The two stations are only minutes apart with Bad Bf north of the Rhine and SBB south. If you get off at Bad Bf you'll need to get a train to SBB anyway. Some trains from Germany continue through to Bern I believe.

You don't need to do anything special during the transit at Basel. Just make sure you have your Swiss Travel Pass (and your passport for identification) to show the conducter on the Swiss trains. The pass does not need activation/validation.

Last modified on Dec 27, 2017 - 3:11 AM by rockoyster
Dennis
Dennis
10 posts
new member
Dec 27, 2017 - 3:09 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks a lot for your prompt reply, rockoyster!

Dennis
Dennis
10 posts
new member
Dec 27, 2017 - 3:25 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster,

By the way, it seems that the Basel Bad Bf station belongs to Germany DB rail while Basel SBB belongs to Swiss SBB. Do I still need to change to another train at Basel Bad Bf station in order to go to Basel SBB station?

Dennis

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Dec 27, 2017 - 3:49 AM in reply to Dennis

Your DB train should run through to the SBB station. The ICE train I took from Frankfurt to Basel did. In any event the Swiss Travel Pass is valid from either station. I edited my original answer slightly so you might want to re-read that.

Last modified on Dec 27, 2017 - 3:51 AM by rockoyster
Dennis
Dennis
10 posts
new member
Dec 27, 2017 - 4:06 AM

Thanks again rockoyster! Your reply offers tremendous help to me!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Dec 27, 2017 - 4:53 AM in reply to Dennis

Happy Travels, Dennis! 🤓

Lucas
Lucas
5591 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 27, 2017 - 10:27 AM in reply to Dennis

Hi dennisysma,

Just a note for you and other members as you may have purchased tickets already. :)

I would normally use the timetable to plan the fastest route to/from your towns and then buy a ticket to the Swiss/German border town (whatever that may be depending on the train you are on)

Once your train has passed into Switzerland you show a train employee your Swiss Travel Pass when asked.

Sometimes you may need to switch at Basel and sometimes not for your trip - and the timetable will tell you which station to change at in Basel and other towns when needed.

Happy Travels!

Last modified on Dec 27, 2017 - 10:31 AM by Lucas
Dennis
Dennis
10 posts
new member
Dec 28, 2017 - 2:06 AM

Thanks Lucas! I haven't purchased the tickets yet. Actually, we will travel in a group of 6 people and I am checking the price of the group saver tickets from the DB site for the route from Germany to Swiss border. The information you provided is very useful. Now I got a better idea on how the rail systems work across the Germany/Swiss border.

Cheers!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Dec 28, 2017 - 9:13 PM in reply to Dennis

Hi Dennis-

As the comments in the thread indicate, check the SBB timetable or the DB timetable for the station names. Generally, your train will go to SBB station. Some go right on through with no change of train, typically to Bern and maybe Interlaken Ost. Not all do that.

Occasionally we flew into Frankfurt for travel to Switzerland. On one trip, our train down the Rhine was well behind schedule. It dumped us in Basel Bad, even though it was scheduled for Basel SBB.

That was an exceptional case; the timetable should give you details as noted..

There was an announcement in German, which I could not hear clearly, about a shuttle train to Basel SBB. My German is good enough to understand such an announcement, if the loudspeaker is clear. It was not. There was only a very short connection time. We missed it. We were definitely jet-lagged, and finally figured out that the next train from Basel Bad to Basel SBB was quite some time away. It would make us late into Zürich. So, we took a taxi from Basel Bad to Basel SBB. Only a short ride. In those days, they did not take credit cards. We had some CHF, and the German cab accepted them.

Slowpoke

Dennis
Dennis
10 posts
new member
Dec 29, 2017 - 2:57 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Appreciate very much for your information and experience sharing! After reading through the posts, I've decided that we will get a DB tciket to Basel Bad Bf and have our Swiss Travel Pass ready. We will check the timetable and try to get on a train through Basel. Lukily, we will not be in such a tight schedule in our trip to Grindelwald on that day. It will be good if the train goes through Basel wihtout changing of trains. Even if there is need for a short stay, say 1-2 hour, in Basel (Basel Bad or SBB), it is still acceptable to us.

Thanks again for the help from all of you guys!

Dennis

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Dec 29, 2017 - 4:46 PM

Hi Dennis-

That will work.

Unless you have picked one of the Intercity Trains that crosses the border and goes on, to for example , Bern, Basel SBB is the place to change for many connections in Switzerland. Bern is also a major change point.

Some of those international trains go on without a change of trains all the way to Interlaken Ost, passing through Bern on the way. You might luck out and pick up one of those.

The SBB Time table will let you see routes with different connection patterns by means of a line diagram if you enter your Start (Rothenburg) and destination...Interlaken Ost or Grindelwald. You must change to narrow gauge at Interlaken Ost, so you can simplify the route display line slightly by choosing IO as your destination while planning.

I gues that you are aware that May is the tail end of Winter in the Jungfrau region. Many mountain transport services do not operate from sometime in March or April until late May. High trails tend not to re-open until early or middle June.

What dates will you be in Grindelwald?

By the way, although the title of this report says "Wengen" it is useful for you anyway.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Slowpoke

Dennis
Dennis
10 posts
new member
Dec 30, 2017 - 2:07 PM

Hi Slowpoke,

Glad that you ask about the exact date of our trip! We will stay 4 nights in Grindelwald on 17-21 May 2018, and then will travel to Zermatt for any other 2 nights, before our stop at Zurich. Yes, we are aware that the period may not be the best time of the year to visit the region. Unfortunately, that's the only option available for everyone in our group (we will travel in a group of 3 couples).

During our stay in Grindelwald, we would like to go to Jungfraujoch of course, visit Interlaken, and go hiking. Our initial hiking plan is First/Bachalpsee. However, after browsing through relevant posts in this forum, I realised that the chance of that hiking route being open during our stay would be slim! As such, I'd appreciate if you guys can drop some hints on any other alternatives for hiking in the region. We will prefer some easier route, probably within 7km, and with great view of course!

Regards,

Dennis

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Dec 30, 2017 - 4:01 PM in reply to Dennis

Hi Dennis-

<<"on 17-21 May 2018, and then will travel to Zermatt for any other 2 nights,">>

Alpenrose has posted a list of opening times for various transport services in the Jungfra region.

I'd link you to it, but forgot to bookmark it. ;-(

Most will open just after you leave.

Some trails ere groomed in the Winter for hiking....I believe that First<-> Bachalpsee is one. However, as the ski season finishes and the snow gets poor for skiing, many cableways shut for maintenance, opening sometime in late May or early June for hikers. The trails are no longer maintained in the interim, and you wait until warm and sunny weather has made them passable safely.

An easy one discussed in this forum recently that should be OK is Grütschalp to Mürren, which you could combine with a trip to Schilthorn.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/wengen-1st-march-2018-hiking-trip

I recall that the Schilthorn does its maintenance in the Fall. You can check their website, or:

www.myswissalps.com/sc hilthorn

See also:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/schynige-platte-to-first-hiking-in-march.

It seems that you have the high Alps set as targets for your travels. Not to dissuade you, but to offer other options, you could consider lower altitudes.

In May, hikes at lower altitudes or in sunny regions are quite feasible. The following two are quite nice, show a lot of beautiful Switzerland, but are not good for seeing the famous sites that you have mentioned.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-swiss-path-and-southern-lake-lucerne

Spring will be well advanced at Luzern's altitude and in the surroundings:

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

( I prefer to use the German spelling - Luzern - because it is what you will see on all the signs for Luzern in the German-speaking regions where you will spend most of your time).

The Rhone Valley, especially the south-facing wall is dry ( rain shadow) and gets a lot of sun. There is a nice walk on that wall, maintained by the BLS railroad company. Some of it is the residue of the access facilities, including sections of roadbed for a narrow gauge supply train, used during construction.

That BLS rail line, which the trail parallels, is the southern approach ramp to/from the older upper Lötschberg tunnel; the northern approach ramp goes up from Spiez to/from Kandersteg.

So the trail is called by its German, name, thus- the BLS Südrampe Trail.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/bls-sudrampe-trail

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/hohtenn-lalden

I mention those as examples of hikes at lower altitudes.

One in the Jungfrau region would be the easy almost level walk along the floor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley ( at about 800 t0 900 meters altitude) from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg. That brings you to the lowest station of the series of several cableways that can take to up to Schilthorn, via Mürren.

You can see that valley floor in the attached image, taken in a warmer month..

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Dec 30, 2017 - 7:47 PM in reply to Dennis

Here’s the link to the maintenance times Slowpoke mentioned www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/gondolarail-access-to-mountains-in-aprilmay-2018

Uallin
Uallin
84 posts
active member
Dec 31, 2017 - 1:10 AM

Hi Dennis. Just wish to share my recent experience buying tickets from Stuttgart Germany to Colmar France from DB website. We're also a party of 6 people. I had checked both SNCF and DB sites n both showed comparable prices of $39.90 each for 6 people. However, when I tried DB site booking for 5 people instead, the price became €19.90 each. So I made 2 bookings 4+2 at this half price & we are luckily assigned seats in the same wagon not far from each other.

Wish to thank Arno Rockoyster Slowpoke Lucas and Chantal for All the help you guys have given me. Really appreciate it. Wish you all a Happy & Joyous 2018 !

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Dec 31, 2017 - 1:29 AM in reply to Uallin

Hi Uallin,

Happy New Year to you. Your DB experience is odd given that group savings are based on 6 or more travelling together! www.bahn.com/en/view/o ffers/germany/group-saver-fare.shtml?dbkanal_007=L04_S02_D0 02_KIN0059_FLYOUT-ANGEBOTE-SPARPREIS-GRUPPE_LZ01

Are you travelling on a regional train on your journey perhaps? See area of validity conditions on link above. Saver Fare Europe only covers up to 5 people. www.bahn.com/en/view/o ffers/europe/saver-fare-europe.shtml?dbkanal_007=L04_S02_D0 02_KIN0060_NAVIGATION-LINKS-SPARPREIS-EUROPA_LZ01

Dennis, note on the first page linked above Switzerland is not included in the area of validity for DB group saver fares. If you book to Basel Bad Bf you should be OK. Your STP will cover you from there. Also watch out for saver fare conditions. Tickets apply to a specific train departure on a specific day so you had better be sure of your plans before purchasing. I bought a saver fare from Frankfurt to Basel and was biting my fingernails about getting through Customs in time to make the connection.

Uallin
Uallin
84 posts
active member
Dec 31, 2017 - 2:07 AM in reply to rockoyster

Yes Rockoyster. It was indeed strange as there was a group super saver rate for 6 when I booked Munich to Stuttgart. So I triple checked using different devices for 3 adults 3 youths. But I thought since it's a DB site should be legitimate. Btw, the trip is for Stuttgart to Strasbourg not Colmar.

Last modified on Dec 31, 2017 - 2:08 AM by Uallin
Dennis
Dennis
10 posts
new member
Jan 2, 2018 - 3:51 AM

Hi Uallin, thanks for your sharing about the tickets. I've checked the DB site for group saver tickets (for 6 people) from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Basel Bad Bf and it shows a price of 19.9 Eur each person. That looks fine to us. Then we will have STP for the rest of the journey. As I mentioned before, we have reserved sufficient time for the transfer at Basel, if deemed necessary, so that the trasnfer time won't be a concern for us. A train through Basel without change would be a bonus to us!

The Grütschalop - Mürren hiking route looks an excellecent choice to us and we may probably take that. Million thanks to Slowpoke for that.

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