About getting to Chamonix by Train
It's surprisingly easy, quick and comfortable to travel overland by train...from and to just about anywhere, especially between some of the major European cities.
Going by train is arguably the most relaxing way to get to Chamonix, although it does take a while longer than other travel methods. It's also a more an eco-friendly way to travel and you can sit back and relax whilst someone else does the driving. Take time to have a snooze, read a book, catch up on work; the only thing you have to consider is which stations to change at along the way.
From the UK, you can get the Eurostar train from London to Paris and then connect on to French national trains for the onward journey to Chamonix. If you are coming from the UK by Eurostar, you have two main options to choose from:
London to Chamonix via Bellegarde
London to Paris (Gare Nord) via Eurostar > Paris (Gare Lyon) to Bellegarde via TGV > Bellegarde to St Gervais via local train > St Gervais to Chamonix on the Mont Blanc Express train. This journey takes around 7-8 hours in total.
London to Chamonix via Lyon Part-Dieu
London St Pancras to Paris (Gare Nord) via Eurostar > Paris (Gare Lyon) to Lyon (Part-Dieu) via regional train > Lyon (Part-Dieu) to St Gervais via regional train > St Gervais to Chamonix on the Mont Blanc Express train. This journey takes around 9 hours.
For either of these two journeys, you'll need to get from Paris Gare Nord to Paris Gare Lyon, which you can do by using the Paris Metro or by hopping in a taxi. Getting from one to the other takes around 30 minutes, however you should try and build in an hour or more to make sure you make the connecting train.
The good thing about travelling by Eurostar is that they allow skis or snowboard bags as 1 of your 2 permitted pieces of larger luggage, however golf clubs, bikes and other sporting equipment incur an additional charge of around £30 for their registered luggage service.
If you're travelling from Switzerland you can pick up a train at Geneva airport (in the same building), which also connects with the main train station in Geneva - Cornavin. From here you can transfer onto the French rail network via Annemasse and onto St Gervais and finally Chamonix. If you're staying in Switzerland, you should take a connection via Martigny from where you can pick up the Mont Blanc Express train into the Chamonix valley. Find Swiss timetables and more information on getting to and around Chamonix by train in Local & Tourist Train Services.
Eurostar is the high-speed passenger train from London to Paris & London to Brussels, which travels via the Channel Tunnel. Not to be confused with Eurotunnel, the company which owns the Channel Tunnel whose car-carrying trains shuttle road vehicles across the Channel.
Run by Eurostar International Limited, the company is owned by SNCF French Railways (55%), SNCB Belgian Railways (5%) & 40% originally by the UK government but now sold to overseas investors. Eurostar carries passengers, not cars. They now run a direct train from London to Lyon, Avignon & Marseille between one and five times a week all year round. You can also get a train to Geneva, but with one change, that takes approximately 6-7 hours.
Eurotunnel however provides a quick and simple method to get you and your car from England to France. From Folkestone to Calais in only 35 minutes, it is the fastest way to get across (or under) the English Channel. There are around four departures every hour - book early to get the best prices. If you are travelling with your bike, then see our Cycling Guide for information on taking you bike on the train.
The 'Train a Grand Vitesse' (TGV) is the high speed rail network of France. Reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, it's a great way to whip through the French countryside to your destination. Most journeys start in Paris, so if you are in the UK, you will need to take the Eurostar from London to Paris first (see above).
The SNCF website has the information for the TGV (high speed trains) & national rail service, or tgv-europe for all European train travel. TGV train tickets must be bought in advance. There are whole host of discounts available for families, seniors, and groups. Cats & dogs are allowed on the train for a fee.
Location: Chamonix Mont Blanc Region