The poster shows a woman screaming at the camera with her hands bound and rope around her torso and feet. It is captioned: “With the TGV, she would have suffered less.”
The adverts were displayed in Beziers, southern France, in December last year to draw attention to the arrival of TGV trans service.
Robert Menard, the far-right mayor of the town, defended his campaign and said critics of were too politically correct.
A legal challenge was brought by a number of feminist groups and the posters were condemned by France’s equality minister.
The backlash was further fuelled over claims the posters made light of the death of a woman whose husband tied her to train tracks before killing himself in a murder-suicide earlier that year.
Mother-of-two Emilie Hallouin’s body was found in pieces on the rails by police after the Paris-Nantes express, which was travelling at 200mph, performed an emergency stop in northern France.
Hallouin, 34, had recently separated from her husband. His body was found further along the tracks.
The court ruled that the ads were legal and although the posters were designed to provoke a reaction, they did not encourage violence against women.
Mr Menard said his posters followed in the footsteps of images of people tied to train lines in old films and cartoons.
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