Travel To Chamonix by Train from Switzerland

Last Updated: 
Tue, 01 Nov 2016
The Swiss have an excellent rail network: the SBB, with three stations in Geneva. However, these do not provide easy access to Chamonix as two of the stations are being reconstructed and there is no direct train between Geneva and Chamonix.

Transfer by road is recommended, but if you want to use the train, take a French train. The name of the main train station in Chamonix is Gare de Chamonix Mont-Blanc, on the French national rail network operated by the state controlled company SNCF.

Eaux-Vives Rail Station of Geneva is Closed
The Construction of the CEVA
Geneva Eaux-Vives will be replaced by an underground station
Annemasse Rail Station
La Roche sur Foron rail station
Saint Gervais les Bains Le Fayet
Chamonix Travel by train
Mont Blanc Express Train
Looking south east from Chamonix Mont-Blanc Train Station in winter
Chamonix Mont-Blanc Train Station in winter

Trains from Geneva to Chamonix

The journey from Geneva to Chamonix takes between 2h 51mins and 3h 25mins depending on connections and day time. A shuttle transfer by road from Geneva Airport takes about 1h 10mins.

To travel by train between Geneva and Chamonix take the route via Annemasse or via Roche-sur-Foron and St Gervais.

Geneva - Annemasse/ Roche-sur-Foron - St Gervais - Chamonix

In Geneva, the Eaux-Vives and the Cornavin rail stations are being renovated. The train station in Geneva Eaux-Vives is closed from November 27, 2011. The construction of the CEVA (Cornavin, Eaux-Vives, Annemasse Railway Liaison) is on-going and will open 2018. The station was completely destroyed and will be fully rebuilt from scratch. Pending completion, replacement bus services are operating the route from Eaux-Vives to Annemasse and to Roche-sur-Foron. Check the online timetable for Geneva Eaux-Vives - St. Gervais connections.

The Geneva Cornavin station remains fully operational during the work. Take the train from Geneva (Cornavin) CFF to Annemasse or Roche-sur-Foron via Bellegarde-su-Valserine. From there, change for Le Fayet-Saint Gervais Les Bains, then take the Mont Blanc Express train for a panoramic ride to Chamonix Mont-Blanc. The Mont Blanc Express runs from St Gervais/Le Fayet all the way through the Chamonix valley, through Forclaz and the Col des Montets to the end line station of Martigny.

Also, it is possible to take a bus from Bellegarde-su-Valserine to Chamonix.  

The SBB Swiss Rail operator's website is better for route and timetable information than the SNCF timetable.

Trains from Martigny to Chamonix

Since April 2012, the railway track & the Tunnel des Montets undergoes a major refit. From June 29, 2013 the Mont-Blanc Express resumed partial service of the line between Le Fayet (St. Gervais) and Argentière. Initially announced for December 2013, then for 22 March 2014, the reopening of the full line (e.g. 2 trains per hour) was postponed indefinitely.

To travel by train from Martigny to Chamonix, take the Mont Blanc Express up to Vallorcine. Between Vallorcine and Argentière there is a replacement bus service operating to the train schedule as work to the railway track is on-going. In Argentière, take the train to Chamonix.

The train runs from the early morning hours until the late evening. Here all the info on the Chamonix - Martigny train timetables.

How Trains Work in France 

You have to punch your ticket. There are machines at the entrance to the platforms. Can't find one? Then it's necessary to find the train conductor right away.

Get on the train without having bought a ticket? Find the conductor as soon as possible, who sells tickets with a slight price increase (€4-€10, depending on the distance).

In case of not having a ticket and not finding the conductor, a penalty, between €25 and €63, must be paid. 

For trains in France, check the timetables and book on SNCF website! Use Antarctic at the "Ticket collection country" to avoid being transferred to RailEurope, which may not list all the trains.

Discounts for Switzerland to Chamonix Travel

Under 25 purchase a Carte de 12-25. This card costs about €60 and gives up to 50% discount on train travel - great value. The SNCF also offers a Carte Senior with similar discounts for over 60. More Info (in French).
If you are staying in the Chamonix Valley, a journey on the Mont Blanc Express, is free with a Carte d'Hote. Ask your host for the "Guest Card". This card will give you free access to the whole of the Chamonix Valley public transport network between Servoz and Vallorcine.
More Information:
Address: 40 Place de la Gare.
Ticket Office Hours: Everyday from 6.40am to 8.20pm.