Travel To Chamonix by Train from Switzerland

The new Leman Express, photo source @transportrail.canalblog.com
Both the Swiss & the French have excellent rail networks: the SBB, respectively the SNCF. The new Léman Express, completed in December 2019, provides excellent access for everyone who wants to visit Geneva from Chamonix and vice versa. The trip from Geneva Cornavin to Chamonix train station should take around 2h 20m.
However, the new Léman Express might not be the best solution for airport transfers to the Chamonix valley, as there is currently no link to Geneva airport. Add the fact that once in Chamonix, visitors might have some difficulty in finding their way to their accommodation, which will also significantly increase the duration of the journey, transfer by road is recommended. The transfer takes around 1h 10m, and Transferfix provides both private & shared airport transfers, which take you right to your choice of accommodation.

Trains from Martigny to Chamonix

From Martigny to Chamonix Mont-Blanc: Train with one connection.

Travelling by train from Martigny to Chamonix Mont-Blanc involves one change of train.

First, take the Mont Blanc Express train from the Martigny train station up to Vallorcine train station. Between Vallorcine and Chamonix, there is a train service operating. So, from the Vallorcine train station, take the train to Chamonix Mont-Blanc.

The trip would normally take around 1h 27m.

The train from Chamonix to Martigny runs from 7.30 am to 7.54 pm during weekdays, and from 7.54 am to 7.54 pm during weekends. However, raileurope.co.uk estimates that, while there are around 24 departures on the route from Chamonix to Martigny during weekdays, trains are more frequent during weekends, with 25 departures/day.

Here all the info on the Martigny - Chamonix train timetables.

Rates: a trip with a single ticket

Adult (26 - 59 years): €28,90 Senior (60 years): €26,60
Teenager (12 - 25 years): €18,20 Child (4 - 11 years): €15,90

A child from 0 to 3 years old can travel for free, only when the booking of the ticket is made at the same time as an Adult ticket. To book your train ticket just click here

Trains from Geneva to Chamonix

The journey from Geneva to Chamonix takes around 2h 20m depending on connections and day time. A shuttle transfer by road from Geneva Airport takes about 1h10mins.

Geneva - St Gervais - Chamonix

In Geneva, Eux-Vives reopened in December 2019.

In Geneva, the Eaux-Vives rail station has been closed from 27th November 2011 to December 2019. Indeed, the station was completely destroyed and had been completely rebuilt. It reopened in December 2019 as a CEVA intermediate station.

Cornavin train station: renovation finished & new Léman Express 

The Cornavin train station remained fully operational during the full renovation & extension which took place from 2010 to 2014. This station is the gateway or terminus of many Swiss CFF trains, but also French SNCF trains with TGV and TER Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is the hub of the Léman Express, the cross-border regional express network, which was launched in December 2019.

From Geneva Cornavin, take the new Léman Express to Saint-Gervais - Le Fayet. From St. Gervais, 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.

For everything related to the new Léman Express, go here.

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.

CEVA: rail link Cornavin - Eaux-Vives - Annemasse. Construction finished in December 2019.

The construction of CEVA (orbital rail line between Cornavin, Eaux-Vives, Annemasse) was finalised on 12 December 2019.

The project involved linking Geneva (Cornavin station) to Annemasse, by passing Geneva's downtown by the west and south-east. It will be the backbone of regional public transport by allowing the establishment of Léman Express.

The Léman Express is the rail network that serves Geneva and its cross-border agglomeration. Consisting of 6 lines, it serves 45 stations for 230 km of lane and will be frequented by 50,000 passengers per day.

This network is coordinated by Lémanis, a joint subsidiary of the two operators, SBB and SNCF, which is also responsible for its promotion.

The central part of the Léman Express is made up of CEVA, the 16.1 km line linking Geneva to Annemasse, which is largely underground and whose construction began in November 2011 for an inauguration scheduled at the same time as the entire network, on 15th December 2019.

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? If you travel without a ticket it will cost you the sum of €50, reduced to €35 for an invalid ticket, again for a journey less than 150 km. From 151 km the penalties are the same but it will be necessary to add the price of the ticket full fare, same thing if you settle in 1st class with a ticket of 2nd, it is what is called the upgrade.

In case of voluntary cheating (falsification, used by a third party, proven fraud) the contredanse will reach €143 in addition to the ticket to settle.

If you do not pay immediately the amount due, you will be drawn up a report of offence with an increase of up to €50.

If you do not pay within two months, you will owe the sum of €375 to the public treasury.

If you have not composted or validated your ticket: the amount of the adjustment can be up to €20.

In case of default of ticket or invalid ticket: the fine is €7 for a journey of less than 150 km and €15 for a journey of more than 150 km if you find the controller before he comes to you.

For trains in France, check the timetables and book on SNCF website! Use the 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 28 purchase a Carte de 12-27. This card costs about €50 and gives up to 30% discount on train travel. 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 Guest Card. Ask for the guest card at your hotel. This card gives you free access to the public transport network between Servoz and Vallorcine.
 
More Information:
Address: 40 Place de la Gare.
Ticket Office Hours: Every day from 6:55 am to 8:55 pm.