Aix-les-Bains – Annemasse railway line

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Annemasse – Aix-les-Bains
Bridge over the Chéran near Rumilly
Bridge over the Chéran near Rumilly
Route number (SNCF) : 897,000
Route length: 94.65 km
Gauge : 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
Power system : 25 kV 50 Hz  ~
Maximum slope : 20 
Route - straight ahead
from Modane
Station, station
0.00 Aix-les-Bains- Le Revard 244  m
0.34 after Culoz
Sierroz (25 m)
BSicon BS2 + l.svgBSicon eBS2 + r.svg
BSicon STR.svgBSicon exTUNNEL1.svg
Sauvage tunnel (204 m)
BSicon KMW.svgBSicon exSTR.svg
-0.02 Defect profile 17 m longer
BSicon BS2l.svgBSicon eBS2r.svg
Station, station
4.27 Grésy-sur-Aix 291  m
Station, station
12.31 Albens 353  m
15.09 Departmental border Savoie / Haute-Savoie
16.56 Bloye 362  m
Station, station
20.94 Rumilly 346  m
27.18 Marcellaz - Hauteville 359  m
33.22 Lovagny - Gorges du Fier 389  m
Brassilly Tunnel (1163 m)
Road bridge
37.29 A 41
39.02 from Albertville
Station, station
39.59 Annecy 449  m
Tunnel - if there are several tunnels in a row
Overburden Annecy (398 m)
Tunnel - if there are several tunnels in a row
Brogny tunnel (379 m)
Station, station
44.14 Pringy 483  m
46.55 Argonay 522  m
49.73 Saint-Martin-Bellevue 568  m
51.36 Charvonnex 596  m
Road bridge
52.15 A 410
Station, station
55.15 Groisy - Thorens -La Caille 655  m
57.05 Les Aires 687  m
Aires Tunnel (262 m)
Évires Viaduct ( Cercay , 112 m)
62.39 Évires 766  m
Bornes Tunnel (1582 m)
Road bridge
65.40 A 410
66.37 Les Fleuries 729  m
71.07 Saint-Laurent (Haute-Savoie) 659  m
77.18 of Saint-Gervais
77.21 Foron Viaduct ( Foron , 123 m)
Station, station
77.74 La Roche-sur-Foron 581  m
Road bridge
80.52 A 410
81.27 Pers-Jussy - Chevrier 549  m
Station, station
84.92 Reignier 509  m
87.43 Ésery-Marsinge 486  m
90.48 Monnetier-Mornex 440  m
Bridge (small)
92.33 A 40
by Léaz
92.42 Étrembières - Salève 409  m
Swiss stone pine (67 m)
CEVA from Genève-Cornavin (from December 2019)
Station, station
94.65 Annemasse 435  m
Route - straight ahead
to Saint-Gingolph

The railway Annemasse Aix-les-Bains is a standard gauge railway line in the French department of Haute-Savoie in the region of Auvergne Rhône-Alpes . It belongs to the state rail infrastructure company SNCF Réseau . In the years after the Second World War , it served as a test track for electrical operation with alternating current .


Annecy Railway Station , around 1900

The lengthy approval process extended for the section from Aix-les-Bains to Annecy from 1860 to 1863, for the section from Annecy to Annemasse from 1868 to 1874.

The line was finally built and opened by the Compagnie Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée (PLM) in three stages: the first section from Aix-les-Bains to Annecy on July 5, 1866, the first stage of the second section from La Roche-sur -Foron to Annemasse on July 10, 1883, and the second stage of the second section between Annecy and La Roche-sur-Foron to close the gap on June 5, 1884 due to construction delays on the Viaduct of Évires.

The line was laid in Annecy in 1961 with the removal of three level crossings in a 397 meter long, covered incision at the station. Due to deformations in the Sauvage tunnel, the tunnel was abandoned in 1973 and a 1272 meter long route was laid.

Test section for alternating voltage

DC operation had prevailed on the French railways , but there were early attempts to use the AC system. 1911 was railway Cannes-Grasse , two years later the railway Perpignan-Villefranche-de-Conflent with an AC voltage of 12 kV and 16  2 / 3 Hz electrified. At the suggestion of the German electrical industry, the Höllentalbahn in the Black Forest was supplied with high-voltage alternating current of 20 kV and 50 Hz from 1935 , which made the railway's own power stations and substations superfluous. This topographically demanding route was in the French occupation zone after the Second World War and was therefore available to the French state railway SNCF for tests.

From 1944, the section between Aix-les-Bains and La Roche-sur-Foron was used for electrification experiments with single-phase alternating current with a frequency of 50  Hz and a voltage of 25 kV. Until March 1948, the E 244 21, a DR class E 244 locomotive, was used as a test vehicle on the first electrified section of the line. The machine, delivered to the Deutsche Reichsbahn in 1936 , had four single-phase series motors .

From July 15, 1950, the Aix-les-Bains – Annecy line was fed with a reduced voltage of 20 kV and 50 Hz, and on May 10, 1951, this test operation was again extended to La Roche-sur-Foron. In October 1951, the E 244 22 - commissioned by the Association of the South-West German Railways (SWDE) from AEG and completed in November 1950 - was briefly used in the Annecy area. The converted two-part ET 25 025 , which was equipped with a two-axle intermediate car in 1951 , was also added to the AC network, which was soon expanded to Annemasse and Le Fayet .

The CC 6051 - called "Grand-Mère" (grandmother) - (later CC 20001) was built by the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works (SLM) and the Oerlikon machine works (MFO) for continuous use with a transition to the direct current network below 1500 V . Mechanically the mother locomotive of the Swiss Ae 6/6 series , it was the world's first multi-system locomotive for operation with single-phase alternating current and direct current, the latter as an early technical concession with greatly reduced performance.

From May 1953, work was carried out on the line to permanently increase the voltage from 20 kV to 25 kV; the transformer windings of the CC 6051 were adapted for this purpose during a one-month depot stay. At the beginning of the 1950s, the SNCF derived one copy of the 1500 V direct current series locomotive for a contact wire voltage of 25 kV, which it had purchased at the time. In 1951 Alsthom delivered the BB 8051 (later BB 10 001), a multi-purpose locomotive with a continuous output of 2,840  hp . It was equipped with two mercury vapor rectifiers , otherwise largely corresponded to the direct current series BB 8100 . The most unusual locomotive was the six-axle two-system locomotive BBB 20 003 built in 1955 with the wheel arrangement Bo'Bo'Bo '. The CC 25000 series , nine of which were built under license from Batignolles-Châtillon and the MFO between 1955 and 1958 for service in the Haute-Savoie, was the first regular type for AC operation.

The final voltage change to 25 kV took place on November 15, 1953; on July 28, 1954, the entire route to Annemasse was changed. The test results in Savoy were so successful that the SNCF decided in 1952 to electrify the 303 km stretch from Thionville to Valenciennes with 50 Hz / 25 kV. The Marseille-Ventimiglia railway and the section of Dole after Vallorbe the connection Paris - Lausanne received this system. The new 50 Hz standard was also exported and distributed worldwide by the European 50 Hz working group from 1954.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Friedhelm Ernst, Gustav Gerlach: Electricity from the state network . In: Lok Magazin . No. 3 , 2014, p. 56 ff .
  2. ^ A b Brian Rampp: Use in Hell Valley . In: Electric locomotives. E 41/141 to E 244 . GeraMond, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-7654-7528-3 , pp. 91 ff .