The Mont-Blanc Express is a local train service which runs from St-Gervais-les-Bains up the Arve Valley to the resort of Chamonix. It then continues north-east through spectacular mountain scenery, crossing the Swiss border and dropping down steeply to Martigny in the Rhône Valley. This narrow-gauge mountain railway connects with the main French rail network in St-Gervais. In Martigny, there are good connections onto the Swiss rail network.
The 45-minute journey from St-Gervais-les-Bains to Chamonix is just the first part of a longer cross-border adventure. The ride right through to Martigny takes 2 hrs 30 mins. The best of the scenery is in the latter part of the journey (ie. beyond Chamonix).
There is no real advantage to booking your ticket from St-Gervais to Chamonix a long time in advance. As with other journeys which rely on the Mont-Blanc Express, there is a fixed tariff and fares don’t increase as you get closer to the date of travel. These trains are second-class only and there are no seat reservations on this route.
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains to Chamonix
Travellers arriving at St-Gervais-les-Bains on overnight or high-speed trains connect there for the mountain railway up to Chamonix. Grab a seat on the right-hand side of the red and white Mont-Blanc Express, for the best of the scenery is on the south side of the Arve Valley. On a clear day, you’ll have excellent views of the Mont Blanc massif.
The train makes six to ten stops on the journey from St-Gervais to Chamonix – a number of smaller halts on this line are request stops. There are two stations in Chamonix, and tickets from or via St-Gervais purchased from Loco2 can be used to either. The first stop is at Chamonix Aiguille du Midi station, and the second at Chamonix Mont-Blanc station. The latter is the larger of the two. Both stations are in the valley just a short walk from the town centre.
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Image credits: Edward Simpson