Bahnhof Baden, 1890. Foto/Photo: Staatsarchiv Baden.

Baden, Spanischbrötlibahn, SBB

The station building in Baden (Canton of Aargau) is the oldest in Switzerland. It was built in 1847. The Spanischbrötlibahn (railway) between Zurich and Baden was the first train connection in Switzerland. This railway was to connect Zurich and Basel.

However, the cantons and private railway companies prevented the realisation of cross-cantonal railways. Only after the Constitution of 1848 had given the federal government (der Bund/ la Fédération) more powers did the development of the national railway network begin.

The railway from Baden to Brugg was ready in 1856. The line from Baden to Bern and Basel was completed in 1858.

The operation and exploitation were still in the hands of private companies. Many private railway companies went bankrupt, which led to a poorly functioning transport system. In 1898, the nationalisation of railway companies led to the creation of the SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen).

The nationalisation took place after consultation with the people. In the referendum of 20 February 1898, the voters overwhelmingly approved the “Federal Act on the acquisition and operation of railways on behalf of the Confederation and the organisation of the administration of the Swiss Federal Railways”. (Bundesgesetz betreffend Erwerbung und Betrieb von Eisenbahnen für Rechnung des Bundes und die Organisation der Verwaltung der Schweizerischen Bundesbahnen). 

The history of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) began in 1902. The first railway station in Baden has been a monument of national importance since 2007.