Fastest journey4hr 23m
It is a very easy journey by train from Paris to Aigle in the Vaud region of the Swiss Alps. The journey starts with a fast run south from Paris on a TGV Lyria directly to Lausanne, where you change onto an InterRegio train for the short onward hop to Aigle.
On Saturdays in the winter sports season, there is even one TGV Lyria train which runs directly from Paris to Aigle. It’s not quicker, but it’s popular with skiers who don’t want the hassle of changing trains in Lausanne. This special ski train (branded TGV Lyria des Neiges) has a breakfast-time departure from Paris with a late afternoon return run from Aigle back to the French capital. For the 2015-2016 season, this Lyria des Neiges service will run from 19 December to 2 April.
Tickets for the journey from Paris to Aigle normally go on sale four months prior to travel. If you are keen to get a bargain fare, that’s the moment to book.
There are alternative routings from Paris to Aigle via Geneva, which are a shade slower than the normal Lausanne route, but they do usefully plug a few gaps in the timetable.
Paris to Lausanne
Comfortable TGV Lyria trains serve the 480-km Paris to Lausanne route. These trains depart from the Gare de Lyon in the French capital and terminate at the main station in Lausanne, from where it is just five minutes on the Metro to either the city centre or down to the shores of Lake Geneva.
The journey starts with a high-speed dash to Dijon. The train then traverses increasingly hilly country on its way through the Jura to the Swiss border. Once in Switzerland, it takes just 35 minutes to reach Lausanne. There are normally four trains each day on this route, and the journey time is 3 hrs 40 mins. An extra train on certain days takes a completely different route, running via Mâcon and Geneva. It takes over four hours.
Lausanne to Aigle
Swiss InterRegio trains run around the shore of Lake Geneva from Lausanne to Aigle. There are departures every half hour and the journey normally takes 30 minutes. There is a touch of drama about this short journey. Leaving Lausanne, the railway skirts the beautiful Lavaux wine-growing region. Look out for gorgeous views across the lake to the Alps beyond. The train makes just two stops on the journey from Lausanne to Aigle – at Vevey and Montreux. Just after leaving Montreux there is a fine view of the fortress of Château de Chillon.