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Switzerland's Border-Busting Streetcar Rolls Into France and Germany

A new extension makes it the world’s only tri-national tram system.
From France to Germany, by way of Switzerland.
From France to Germany, by way of Switzerland.basler Verkehrs-Betriebe

The new streetcar link that launched in Basel, Switzerland, on Tuesday may not look all that special. A low-slung tram painted a shade of racing green, the rolling stock is ferrying passengers just a few stops further down a line that’s been in service since 1897. But these new stops have something special, even ground-breaking about them: While Basel lies in Switzerland, they’re across the border in France. And by opening them, Basel inaugurated the world’s only tri-national streetcar system.

The system’s first adventure abroad began three years ago, when it opened stations in the neighboring German city of Weil am Rhein. An existing line, meanwhile, barely crosses into a small section of French territory on its way to serving an outlying Swiss suburb. But the newest addition extends deep into France—including four new stops—creating what must be the most international urban transit network in the world.