Direct daytime trains between Amsterdam and Basel scrapped after 96 years

Direct daytime trains between Amsterdam and Basel scrapped after 96 years

After 96 years of service, public transport providers in the Netherlands and Germany have confirmed that the direct day train between Amsterdam and Basel will be discontinued from mid-July 2024. 

NS confirms end of direct Amsterdam - Basel route

In a statement from NS, the company confirmed that the direct rail service between Amsterdam and the Swiss city of Basel will be scrapped this coming July. The train, which calls at major cities including Utrecht, Arnhem, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Bonn, Frankfurt, and Freiburg, will be discontinued from July 15, 2024, due to engineering works in Germany. Sadly, NS confirmed that at the request of Deutsche Bahn, who jointly runs the service, it will not return to timetables once the work is completed.

This means that the only direct train between the Netherlands and Switzerland will be the night train between Amsterdam and Zurich, which reopened in 2021. Day travellers between the two cities will now have to change in Manheim, Frankfurt or Cologne.

DB keen to prioritise Munich routes over Basel

The route, which was first launched as the Edelweiss in 1928, before being renamed to the Trans Europe Express in 1957, has been a popular route for Dutchies heading to the Swiss mountains for 96 years. It was originally envisioned as a way to give the residents of the Netherlands and the Rhine Valley a quick and easy way to get to Switzerland, its mountains and beyond to Italy.

Now, Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger claimed that Deutsche Bahn wanted to scrap the route in favour of other direct services between the Netherlands and German cities like Munich. While it did not directly confirm the theory, NS itself admitted that “rail companies see growing demand for passengers in Germany’s third-largest city in the coming years.”

“Deutsche Bahn’s decision shows how fragile Switzerland’s position as a cooperation partner is – we obviously don’t have a strong negotiating position,” noted Basel National Councillor Katja Christ (GLP). She added that the announcement is “extremely painful” and a reversal of hopes that new inter-European direct lines would be created in the future.

This article originally appeared on IamExpat in Switzerland.

Thumb image credit: Markus Mainka /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer



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