The station is one of two large railway stations in Basel, the other being Basel SBB, which is operated by the Swiss federal railways. It is the only "German" railway station which is not located within Germany, and it is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
In January of 1851, the Rheintalbahn line reached the village of Haltingen, close to the Swiss border. Since the two governments had not agreed about how to build the station in Basel yet, the passengers were transported across the border with hackney carriages.
Finally, on July 27, 1852, a treaty became effective between the government of Baden and the Swiss Confederation. This treaty is still effective today. The start of construction was further delayed, however, by the Swiss insisting on a terminal station and the Badische Staatseisenbahnen insisting on a through station so as not to hinder the planned extension toward Waldshut.
The line from Haltingen to Basel was opened on February 19, 1855 with a temporary wooden station building. A further line to Konstanz in Baden was connected to the station in 1856, and by April 10, 1859 Switzerland and Baden had finally agreed to build a permanent station, of which the construction started in May.
The station was moved to its current location between 1906 and 1913.
The Badischer Bahnhof is located on Swiss territory, but due to the 1852 treaty between the Swiss Confederation and the state of Baden (one of the predecessors of today's Germany), the largest part of it (the platforms and the parts of the passenger tunnel that lead to the German/Swiss checkpoint) is treated as an inner-German station and is operated by the Deutsche Bahn. The shops in the station hall, however, are located in Switzerland, and the Swiss franc is used as the official currency there (although the euro is universally accepted).
The passport and customs controls are located in a tunnel between the platforms and the station hall; international trains which continue to Basel SBB usually have on-board border controls.