Cornavin station to CERN non-stop in 20 minutes

Following several years of work, the construction of the Jardin Alpin – CERN tramline is almost complete, and the first tram is due to arrive at CERN on 30 April. Celebrations to mark the occasion will be held in Meyrin-Village and at CERN.


First tests of the overhead lines, signals, and tracks on the stretch between Jardin-Alpin and CERN on 7 April 2011.

From 30 April onwards you will be able to travel from Cornavin station to CERN non-stop in 20 minutes using the No. 18 tram. This is great news, especially when you think that, only four years ago, no part of the stretch between Cornavin and CERN was served by a tramline. At present, if you want to travel between CERN and the city centre by public transport, you have to take the No. 14 or the No. 16 tram and the No. 56 bus, changing at Meyrin-Gravière, where you sometimes have quite a long wait. On 30 April all this will be a thing of the past!

The construction work for the Geneva-CERN tramline began in January 2006 and consisted of three phases. The first section of the tramline, linking Cornavin station with Avanchet, was completed in December 2007, while the second, linking Avanchet with Meyrin-Gravière, was completed in December 2009. The arrival of the tram at CERN marks the completion of the third and final phase of the work. 50 parking spaces on the flagpoles car park at CERN, opposite the Globe, will be set aside for passengers, complementing the 150-space "Planches" park and ride facility opposite the La Tour hospital.

The State of Geneva's decision to extend the tramline to CERN came in response to a high level of demand from users on both sides of the Swiss/French border. The tramline may even cross the border into France in the future as plans for a further extension to Saint-Genis-Pouilly and for the construction of a large park and ride facility near the main roundabout there are under discussion. If it goes ahead, the project could help to significantly reduce the number of vehicles in Geneva city centre.

To celebrate the tram's arrival at CERN, an inauguration ceremony followed by a street party will be held on 30 April. The ceremony, which will be attended by representatives of the authorities of Meyrin, the State of Geneva and neighbouring France, as well as of the TPG public transport company, will take place in the morning. A street party including street theatre and concerts will then kick off at 1.00 p.m. in Meyrin. CERN will be joining in by giving physics demonstrations on the Meyrin-Village square and by opening up its exhibitions and the ATLAS visitor centre. Trams will travel back and forth along the newly inaugurated stretch of the tramline all afternoon, and journeys will be free of charge. One of them will depict CERN as the State of Geneva has generously donated the hire of a tram's advertising space for the next 6 months. On 30 April, the tram in question, which will be called the "Accélérateur de Voyageurs" or "Passenger Accelerator", will provide the venue for an improvisation performance in which the actors will play the role of particles!

Programme for the day

From 10.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.: Official inauguration, with four trams running back and forth from one end of the line to the other, speeches by officials on the Meyrin-Village square between 11.50 a.m. and 12.10 p.m., then a big buffet where everyone will be welcome.

From 1.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.: Street party on the Meyrin-Village square, with concerts, demonstrations and street theatre. At the same time, an improvisational theatre company will give performances on the tram depicting CERN.

At CERN, the Globe of Science and Innovation, the Microcosm and the ATLAS visitor centre will be open to the public. More information on the programme of events can be found at the following link.


by Laëtitia Pedroso