Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Saturday, August 28, 2010
yet more swiss lessons!
The view from our hotel room. This is the east end of the Gare Cornavin, Geneva's main railway station. The trams are running to and from the United Nations building.
Superb new high capacity tram on the new route to Meyrin.
Meyrin's main tram 'station', unusually a terminus rather than a loop.
Trams waiting to return to the city from Meyrin.
Back from Geneva. As always a trip to Switzerland reinforces just how far behind we are in the UK.
Geneva once had a tramway network of 75 miles, running numerous interurban lines into France as well as serving the city. Incredibly the main station at Cornavin lost its trams in 1965 and for thirty years there was just a short 5 mile line south of the Rhone serving the far less important station of Eaux Vives on a route from Moillesulaz to Carouge.
Fortunately this section of line survived until more sensible and forward looking opinions prevailed and the trams were reintroduced to Cornavin in 1995. Since then there have been several extensions, and last year the brand new line to Meyrin opened on 12 December 2009. The line to CERN should be open by the end of 2010. And it doesn't stop there - there are several more extensions planned and it's perfectly possible that the new tramway route mileage will far exceed that of the old system. New routes are planned to go into France as many people live in France and work in Geneva.
Travelling on the Meyrin tramway last week I got, for the first time, a real sense of the end of the car age as we passed queueing pollution spewing cars jammed on the roads as we whizzed past them at high speed. What Geneva does today everywhere wil be doing over the coming decades.
For anyone who doubts that the second Golden Age of Rail is upon us - visit Geneva!