The Léman Express – "a real transport revolution"January 2020
The launch of the Léman Express on 15 December 2019 is “a real transport revolution”, according to Greater Geneva’s elected representatives. Made possible by a new 16km central section of track between Cornavin, Eaux-Vives and Annemasse (CEVA), what is now the largest cross-border regional rail network in Europe links up two Swiss cantons and two French departments. It has taken eight years and €1.8 billion worth of investment to complete.
With 230km of track, 45 stations and 240 trains per day, 50,000 passengers are expected to use it every day.
The impact on the environment and daily life is at the heart of the infrastructure project. At 30 September 2019, there were 85,200 cross-border workers in the Canton of Geneva, who mainly travelled to work by car on roads that are heavily congested in the morning and evening.
Thanks to the Léman Express, it is anticipated that road traffic across the whole territory will be reduced by 12%. The new rail service also aims to improve citizens’ quality of life, with passengers making the daily trip between Annemasse and Geneva saving 45 minutes a day.
The Léman Express is also reshaping the urban environment, with new neighbourhoods and mobility hubs around the stations of the CEVA line. In Annemasse, a whole area has been transformed and redeveloped, with a new multimodal hub, and a 19-hectare eco-neighbourhood with new housing and retail spaces around the station.
In the tourism sector, the expected impact is just as great, with the Chamonix and Saint-Gervais valleys becoming much easier to reach, especially from Switzerland.
Read the editorial of Michel Charrat, President of the European Cross-Border Grouping: "Greater Geneva at last!"