FRANCE: Stadler has delivered the first of four electric multiple-units for the Tramway du Mont-Blanc mountain railway.

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


In June 2020 the Haute-Savoie council which owns the railway signed a new 15-year contract signed with operator Compagnie du Mont-Blanc. The council is investing €70m in the line, including €30m for the four trainsets, €15m of operational subsidy and funding for track and signal modernisation.

The 32 m long and 2700 mm wide EMUs will have two cars giving a capacity of 120 seated and 80 standing passengers. They will have a higher maximum speed of 20 rather than 15 km/h to reduce journey times, and regenerative braking so that their energy consumption will be significantly lower than the older trains.


The four EMUs are to be named ‘Jeanne’, ‘Anne’, ‘Marie’ and ‘Marguerite’, after the daughters of the founder of the first operating company. Commissioning is planned for winter 2022-23.

‘Today, the Tramway du Mont-Blanc transports 140 000 passengers annually, compared to 200 000 passengers some years ago. We expect to reach 185 000 passengers in 2026 and 210 000 in 2034’, said Mathieu Dechavanne, Chairman & CEO of Compagnie du Mont-Blanc. ‘Such number will generate €3·3m of turnover, compared with todays €1·8m.’