The Chamonix Train Station
The name of the main train station in Chamonix is, "Chamonix Mont Blanc," on the French national rail network operated by the state controlled company SNCF.
However, the Swiss Rail web site of the operator SBB is better for route and timetable info.
Address: 40 Place de la Gare, 74400 Chamonix
Ticket Office hours: Everyday 06:40-20:20.
Click here for more information on trains within the Chamonix Valley.
From the UK
Travelling to Chamonix from the UK by train is not always the best option. If using public transport, air travel will nearly always be quicker and less expensive. If travel on the rail network is preferred, here are a few tips help plan the journey and find the least expensive tickets.
What to avoid
Do not try to use the Eurostar Snowtrain that departs from St Pancras (London) and Ebbsfleet (Kent). The service is intended to connect with the Tarentaise. The first stop is Moutiers, some 60 miles and 2 hours by car to Chamonix. No charge for skis or boards, spacious sleeping accomodations and a disco carriage for those who want to start their holiday early!
If purchased in advance(60 to 90 days), Eurostar to Paris tickets are cheaper for each leg. For the best fares, you should include a Saturday night trip in your stay.
Too late for advanced booking? You can still find good deals if you take the earliest (before 7am) or latest (after 7pm) trains of the day.
Small children (under 4) do not require a ticket as long as they are seated on the lap of the parent.
There are often discounts for youth (25 and under) and senior (60) passengers so if you fall into one of these categories make sure to inquire while booking. Tesco Clubcard Vouchers can also be changed to Eurostar Vouchers.
Only need a one way ticket? One way is very expensive so you should still purchase round trip as it is half the price. The other half of your ticket can be given away or discarded.
The best Train routes for travel to Chamonix from London
Take the Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Geneva Airport via Paris. Then connect with a pre-booked road transfer.
If rail travel must be used all the way to Chamonix, board the Eurostar at London St. Pancards for Paris Gare du Nord. Traverse Paris to Gare Austerlitz and take the Corail Lunea to Le Fayet / St. Gervais les Bains. Change here onto the TER for Chamonix.
The whole journey takes over 15 hours but a couchette can be booked on the long second stage which is best taken overnight.
Tickets can be booked three months in advance. The price will vary from £80 to £280 for a one way journey depending on the season and how long in advance the booking is made. Book early. The best website to do this is RailEurope.
The main TGV lines (fast train) from Paris :
- - Paris - Annecy
- - Paris - Lyon
- - Paris - Bellegarde
- - Paris - Chambéry - Aix Les Bains
These stations have onward connections to Saint Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet (which is serviced by TGV during some periods of the year).
Tip: If you have trouble on the SNCF site finding a train, it may be because there are too many train changes. Instead of using "Chamonix" as your destination, try using "St. Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet." From wherever you come in France, you will almost always have to change trains at St. Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet (which is about 15 minutes down the valley from Chamonix after Les Houches).
The Swiss have an excellent rail network. the SBB, with major stations in Geneva and Zurich airports. However these do not provide easy access to Chamonix.
We advise a transfer by road, but if you are set on using the train, cross Geneva to the Eaux-Vives rail station and take a French SNCF train to Annemasse or Roche-sur-Foron. Change here for Le Fayet/St. Gervais Les Bains. Change here onto the Mont Blanc Express and a panoramic ride to Chamonix.
Journeys will take between 2 hours 51 minutes & 3 hours 25 minutes. A shuttle transfer by road takes about 1hr 10 mins.
The SBB timetable is better than the SNCF timetable. The latter does not provide times and routing from Geneva Airport, only from Eaux-Vives.
Take the Mont Blanc Express from Martigny to the foot of Mont Blanc, in Chamonix. This beautiful rail road takes you through some of the most amazing scenery you have ever seen.
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How trains in France work
You have to punch your ticket. There are machines at the entrance to the platforms. If you cannot find one, then you must find the train conductor right away.
If you have to get on the train without having bought a ticket, then you must find the conductor as soon as possible, who will sell you a ticket with a slight price increase (4-10 Euros depending on the distance).
If you do not have a ticket and you haven't found the conductor, then you might have to pay a penalty (25-63 Euros).
If you are under 25 you can purchase a Carte de 12-25. This card costs about 60EUR and will give you up to 50% discount on train travel - great value. The SNCF also offers a Carte Senior with similar discounts if you are over 60. More Info (in French).