Photos: Christophe Masse

FRANCE: The last of the four metre-gauge electric multiple-units supplied by Stadler to re-equip the Tramway du Mont-Blanc mountain railway entered service on December 21.


‘Marguerite’ joins the other three EMUs named ‘Jeanne’, ‘Anne’ and ‘Marie’, the daughters of the founder of the first operating company.

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The 32 m long two-car EMUs are 2 700 mm wide, with capacity for 120 seated and 80 standing passengers. They have a maximum speed of 20 km/h rather than the 15 km/h of the previous fleet, which will allow a reduction in reduce journey times. They are also fitted with regenerative braking, so their energy consumption will be significantly lower than the older trains.


Funding for the €30m procurement has been provided by the Haute-Savoie council which owns the railway. In June 2020 the council signed a new 15-year contract with operator Compagnie du Mont-Blanc, which provides for an investment of €70m in the line. As well as the four trainsets, the package includes funding for track and signal modernisation and €15m for operations support.


The 12·5 km line runs from Fayet station in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, which is 580 m above sea level, to the 2 372 m high summit station at Nid d’Aigle. It is equipped with the Strub rack system and electrified at 11 kV 50 Hz.