Léman Express - Train from Geneva to Chamonix

 

Everyone who wishes to travel easily and conveniently between Geneva and Chamonix can take the Léman Express, which connects Geneva to Saint Gervais-Les-Bains-Le Fayet. From there, the Mont Blanc Express will get you to Chamonix.

With an estimated duration of 2h 30m, the Léman Express is a great choice for a day trip from Chamonix to Geneva and vice versa.

However, due to the fact that Léman Express does not go to Geneva airport (another transport is required between Geneva Airport and Geneva Central Station) & tourists will also need to use a bus or a taxi from Chamonix Central Station to their accommodation in Chamonix, a private or shared airport transfer is recommended when travelling to or from the Geneva airport.

Leman Express, photo source https://www.flickr.com/photos/kecko/37862521945
Léman Express route, http://lemanexpress.ch/#demain-plan-du-reseau

Léman Express - Easier to get from Geneva to Chamonix by train

1. From Geneva to Chamonix (around 2h 20m)

The Leman Express might just be the ideal way of commuting between Chamonix and Geneva!

From Geneva Cornavin (Geneva Central Station), you will take the Léman Express to Saint-Gervais - Le Fayet (Line 3, schedule here).

Trains go every hour, with two trains per hour at peak times. 

The first Léman Express train will depart from Saint-Gervais around 04:50 and the last train leaving Geneva Cornavin will be around 21:30.

The journey time will take 1h 40m and will either go direct or include a change at Annemasse station although this will not add any travel time as the train will stop in Annemasse for 7 minutes anyway.

The Léman Express will take you through many alpine picturesque resorts on the way to Saint-Gervais - Le Fayet, such as Cluses, Sallanches, Combloux and Megève.

From St. Gervais - Le Fayet, you should take the already famous Mont-Blanc Express. The Mont-Blanc Express will take you to key resorts & attractions between Saint-Gervais and Chamonix, such as the Aiguille du Midi, Les Bossons, Les Houches and Servoz. The schedule of the Mont-Blanc Express can be found here.

The journey time from St. Gervais to Chamonix is 45 minutes.

In total, one should reach Chamonix from Geneva via Leman Express to St. Gervais & Mont-Blanc Express from St. Gervais in approximately 2h 30m, depending on waiting times.

2. From Geneva Airport to Chamonix (airport transfer)

While Léman Express is great for travelling between Geneva and Chamonix, it might not be the best solution for airport transfers to the Chamonix valley.

From the Geneva Airport, you will have to get to Geneva Cornavin (Geneva Central Station). The trip from Geneva airport to Geneva Cornavin should take 6 minutes by train (RegioExpress) or around 20 minutes by bus. Trains circulate every 12 to 20 minutes, from 4:43 am to the last one at 0:07.

From Geneva Cornavin, you should take the Leman Express to St. Gervais and then the Mont-Blanc Express to Chamonix (as seen above).

On arrival in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc central station, visitors will have to take a bus or a taxi to their accommodation, which might significantly increase their overall journey time.

Therefore, for airport transfers between Geneva Airport (GVA) and Chamonix, it is recommended to use an airport transfer. The transfer takes around 1h 10m and it is door-to-door: the shuttle drivers will pick you up at the airport and drop you off right to your accommodation in Chamonix. 

Leman Express is a new convenient way of travelling from Geneva to Chamonix. photo source @transportrail.canalblog.com


Léman Express Passes & Prices

Léman Express tickets & passes are available for online purchase from the Swiss (SBB) and French (SNCF) railway companies.

Ticket machines are available at all Léman Express stations. You can also renew your Léman Pass at these machines.

Your Léman Pass will be added directly to your existing travel card – your OùRA! card for France or your SwissPass card for Switzerland.

With your Léman Pass, you can travel by train, bus, coach, tram or shuttle boat anywhere in the Léman Express region, including between France and Switzerland. One pass is all you need.

Children under the age of six travel free of charge on journeys within Switzerland and between France and Switzerland. Children under the age of four travel free of charge on journeys within France.

From Geneva Cornavin to Saint-Gervais, the prices for the Léman Express are:

First-class From 6 to 15 years From 16 to 25 years +26 years
Single journey 15.90 € 31.70 € 31.70 €
One day Lémanpass 31.70 € 63.40 € 63.40 €
Annual subscription 3,258.40 € 3,258.40 € 4,266.40 €
Monthly subscription 406.70 € 406.70 € 440.80 €

 

Second class From 6 to 15 years From 16 to 25 years +26 years
Single journey 10.00 € 20.00 € 20.00 €
One day Lémanpass 20.00 € 39.90 € 39.90 €
Annual subscription 2,015.90 € 2,015.90 € 2,656.80 €
Monthly subscription 211.90 € 211.90 € 273.20 €

More information on www.lemanpass.com.

Comparison of prices between train and airport transfer

From Geneva Airport (GVA) to Geneva Central Station (Cornavin), the train ticket is 2.91 €.

From Geneva Cornavin to Saint-Gervais, the second-class Léman Express ticket is 20 €.

From Saint-Gervais to Chamonix Central Station, a standard ticket in 11.70 €. 

Thus, from Geneva Airport to Chamonix Central Station, a standard (second-class) train journey will cost 34.60 €.

Please, bear in mind that on arrival in Chamonix Central Station, you will have to get a bus or a taxi to get you to your accommodation, which will increase the total cost of the journey. While bus tickets are inexpensive ( 3 € / day ticket unless you have a Guest Card or a Skipass, free if you do), a taxi ride can be costly.

A seat in a shared transfer ride from Geneva Airport to your accommodation in Chamonix costs between 28 € - 38 €.

The drivers will be waiting for you at the airport and will drop you off right at your accommodation in Chamonix, so you will not have to worry about getting around in Chamonix with all the heavy and inconvenient luggage!

Léman Express - An ambitious project to unite two countries

According to SNCF in December 2019, 630,000 trips take place between France and Switzerland around Geneva every day. To accommodate everyone, a colossal project was born: the Léman Express.

The Léman Express is a commuter rail network for the transborder agglomeration of Grand Genève (Greater Geneva) in west Switzerland and the Frech Alps (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).

"Your trips around Geneva will soon gain in comfort and ease", promised SNCF. Indeed, the trains are state-of-the-art and offer air conditioning, power sockets at each seat, first-class seats available and accessibility for disabled passengers.

The Léman Express connects 45 stations on 230 km of lines and accommodates 50,000 passengers every day on the 240 trains, as follows:

  • Line 1 from Coppet to Evian-les-Bains, via Geneva Cornavin and Annemasse.
  • Line 2 from Coppet to Annecy, via Geneva Cornavin, Annemasse and La-Roche-sur-Foron.
  • Line 3 from Coppet to St.-Gervais-les-Bains-Le Fayet, via Geneva Cornavin, Annemasse, la-Roche-sur-Foron, Sallanches, Combloux and Megève.
  • Line 4 from Coppet to Annemasse.
  • Line 5 from Geneva Cornavin to La Plaine.
  • Line 6 from Geneva Cornavin to Bellegarde (Ain).

See the map of the Léman Express, which includes all the lines and all the stations here.

The Léman Express was opened on December 15th, 2019. The Léman Express cross-border rail network was set to revolutionise transport between Switzerland and France, declared Swiss Transport Minister Simonetta Sommaruga at the inauguration ceremony, which took place on 12 December 2019, three days ahead of the train's official public opening (swissinfo.ch).

In addition to providing residents and tourists alike with a modern, accessible and comfortable alternative to reaching Geneva, the Leman Express is expected to slash road traffic by 12%, according to the authorities (swissinfo.ch). 

A few days after the train's inauguration, Vincent Kaufmann, an associate professor of urban sociology and mobility at the Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), declared that while it is currently hard to predict exactly how much the traffic would decrease, he imagines that "there will be big reductions on the road traffic between Annemasse and Geneva, and between Hermance and the customs posts at Douvaine and Geneva along the lakeside quays".

Since personal automobiles are a major cause of global warming, reducing their usage might have a positive impact on the environment.

The Léman Express railway network easily and quickly connects France to Switzerland. photo source @wikipedia.org


Léman Express Additional info

  • Pets are allowed on Léman Express trains, but you must make sure they do not bother other passengers. You must have a ticket for your pet when travelling between France and Switzerland on a Léman Express train (except for service/assistance dogs for the disabled and small pets).
  • You can carry hand-luggage with you on Léman Express trains. Hand luggage is considered to be luggage that is easy to carry, that contains personal items and that is no bigger than 1.20 x 0.80 x 1.00 m. Skis and snowboards, luges and skibobs are also considered to be hand luggage.
  • Children under the age of six travel free of charge on journeys within Switzerland and between France and Switzerland. Children under the age of four travel free of charge on journeys within France.
  • Disabled passengers must purchase tickets or passes to travel on Léman Express trains. However, guide dogs and individuals accompanying disabled passengers may travel free of charge; disabled passengers just need to show their disability card to the ticket inspector.
  • Bicycles are allowed on Léman Express trains, but for the convenience of other passengers, we advise against travelling with them during peak times. Instead, you could leave your bike at one of the bicycle station or park that offer direct access to the trains.

More information on lemanexpress.ch.

For questions related specifically to Léman Express, use the contact form.