Léman Express upbeat despite pandemic and other problems 

The Léman Express, Europe's biggest cross-border rail network, was launched a year ago. Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

The Léman Express rail network between Switzerland and France launched a year ago has faced numerous challenges but remains confident, says its director. 

This content was published on December 15, 2020 - 12:40

"We absolutely have to stabilise quality now and work on recent problems," Mario Werren told Swiss public broadcaster RTS. "I am very confident that the need is already proven. Prior to Covid, we reached passenger figures that were only expected in three to four years." 

Officially launched on December 15 last year, the rail network’s first problem was a French strike which meant it could initially only be put into service on the Swiss side.  It has also faced breakdowns and staff shortages, as well as the coronavirus pandemic. 

But from day one, some 25,000 passengers per day were using it. This peaked at 49,000 in February before the pandemic hit the network’s numbers. 

Director Werren told RTS he is aiming for a return to normal next spring. He believes there is enormous potential for developing the rail network between France and the neighbouring Swiss cantons of Geneva and Vaud to serve the population in the whole Lake Geneva basin.  

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