CEVA aka Léman Express


gordonwis
 

CEVA opened to regular public service as planned (but with quirks see below) on Sunday 14 December. I rode the line in mid morning.

Needless to say the SNCF strike ruined the concept on its first day. CFF worked manfully to operated the service as if it was operating correctly, so, in order to keep the Swiss side (especially east of Cornavin to Coppet) working correctly trains between Coppet and Cornavin were labelled (for example) 'Annecy' but once these reached Chene Bourg they were turned back, wrecking the platforming regime at Chene Bourg. All 'international' workings terminated at Annemasse.

In the bizarre SNCF strike scenario, announcements for French destinations were constantly made at Annemasse in the format: "le train TER numéro xxx à destination de xxx (eg St Gervais) partira de la Gare Routière"

It was announced that a few 'CEVA' trains were planned to run to Evian, and certainly indicators at Annemasse suggested there would be at least one late afternoon.

Notwithstanding, as someone whose interest in European railways was fostered in the 1960s to a large extent by seeing trains in the Annemasse area it was bizarre to hear a pure SNCF style train announcement including local stations and a destination on the CFF main line to Lausanne! Another thing to get used to is that Genève Eaux Vives is now a purely 'SBB' station with Swiss railway paraphernalia.

I also rode the new tram line in Annemasse, now operating as the eastern end of Line 17. To anyone not familiar with the area, CGTE (now TPG) route 12 ran from Moillesulaz frontier to Annemasse until closed in 1958.

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