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Mont Blanc Express: Mauerhofer & Zuber renews rail-safety systems

Mauerhofer & Zuber SA has been commissioned to modernise the route between Saint-Gervais and Vallorcine by 2015. The company will renew all the safety and signalling systems on the French section of the Mont Blanc Express – a first!

The train line between Saint-Gervais and Vallorcine connects the canton of Valais and the Rhône-Alpes region. The almost 37-kilometre single-track section of the Mont Blanc Express is part of the French rail network and is becoming increasingly important for local transport. On the initiative of the municipalities, the network administrator Réseau Ferré de France (RFF), in conjunction with the national railway operator (SNCF), therefore decided to carry out comprehensive modernisation work on the existing infrastructure. This will enable the current capacity of one train per hour to be doubled – with the plan to increase it still further to a service every 20 minutes.

This increase in capacity will be made possible by the modernisation of all the rail-safety systems – and Mauerhofer & Zuber SA has won this important contract. It covers the planning and installation of a new operating and signalling system for the entire section. The work encompasses the safety systems at the 10 stations, the automatic block signalling, the remote control and the surveillance system. The project will commence immediately and will be carried out in stages, with the section expected to be fully operational by the end of 2015.

Swiss system in France for the first time

The project is a first: for the first time, a Swiss safety system will be installed on French soil. For Mauerhofer & Zuber SA, it represents a great challenge – but also a unique opportunity to demonstrate beyond national borders the expertise acquired over decades.