Part of living in Geneva is living with construction and right now we are in the middle of the biggest rail project in Europe. It’s called the CEVA (Cornavin -> Eaux-Vives -> Annemasse) Project but has been newly baptized the Leman Express.
I recently toured the Eaux-Vives section, which is next to our AIWC clubrooms, in order to gain insight to the noise and dust we have had to put up with for the past three years. These tours are open to the public every Tuesday in October and November from 14:30-16:30 (register here).
I thought the CEVA tour was well worth my time. If you’re interested this is what you can expect.
First things first: you get dressed up in orange safety vests and helmets. If it’s been raining, go ahead and choose your mud boots size 38 and larger.
Then the presentation begins in French. The facts and statistics that stood out to me where:
- While 32% of Zurich’s population uses public transportation, 16% of Geneva and 6% of neighboring France’s population uses public transport.
- The Leman Express will start in Coppet and end in Annemasse, where one can hop on connecting trains to either Annecy or Evian.
- At its completion, the Leman Express will have 6 trains passing per hour each direction.
- The entire project is 21 months behind schedule and 6% over budget.
- 90% of the dirt and gravel excavated from the huge tunnel near the Carouge pool is ground up into usable gravel; of which I think, 40% is going back into the tunnel on which the tracks will be placed.
- A Green Walkway will be dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists on top of the underground section from Eaux-Vives to the French border.
After the presentation, you will walk into the future station to peer down the tunnel and the future shopping areas. Apartments will also be built but that seems to have been sold to the real estate development companies so our guide had no information on that topic.
As with all major projects, there are pros and cons, sincerity and corruption. With this project I prefer to focus on the benefits. I am excited for trains running through Eaux-Vives (hopefully in December 2019) and the fresh air that should come with them.
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As one who is often stuck in traffic between Eaux-Vives and Cornavin, just wondering how that leg will work? Are they building a tunnel to bypass Mont Blanc?
Good morning! They actually go around crossing the rivers rather than lake by first heading toward Carouge, then Lancy and on to the train station. I think our guide said it would take 22 minutes to get to the train station.
Interesting…thanks for sharing that! Just checked the ‘tracé’ and while a good option for people on the Annemasse and Carouge side it looks like it will not do much to relieve traffic for us around the dreaded ‘pont’ as it will involve a huge detour for those coming into Cornavin and airport from our side of the lake. I had heard rumours of a future tunnel but wasn’t sure if it was part the new CEVA train line.
The future tunnel has been voted on several times. The last vote passed regarding a tunnel in principle (no specific location). However, don’t hold your breath. Geneva has no money and the federal government refuses to pitch in.
Regarding getting to and from the airport, I think this mostly underground route with no traffic lights and traffic jams will be faster than driving.
I just wish they would invest in a train that went around the entire lake. I often head your way to get to the Swiss Alps and the traffic is also horrible around some areas. I would take the train but for me to get to Cornavin, sometimes takes as long as the trip to go through France and arrive at the Swiss border!