Tramway du Mont-Blanc
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ENJOY NATURE ! Take this rack railway with an unique view of the Aiguilles de Chamonix and the Dômes de Miage to reach the Bellevue Plateau and discover some beautiful walks ideal for families. Take the train, up to Nid d’Aigle for a splendid view of the Bionnassay glacier.
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Moramare
Amstelveen, The Netherlands425 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
A must do, for sure! But once in your life could be enough… As mentioned by many before me, comfort is not what’s on offer. Splendid views and a tick the box experience is offered for sure. We took the train in peak season, leaving us with a bunch of crying toddlers who really really didn’t enjoy the time it took to get to the top station. Views from there are exquisite, seeing the (disappearing) gletsjer with your own eyes is impressive!
Written August 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello, The entire Compagnie du Mont-Blanc team thanks you for sharing your experience. We hope to see you again on your next visit to Chamonix. Best regards,
Written August 5, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rosalind S
Saint-Cergues, France1 contribution
Sep 2022
We booked online - end Aug and beginning Sept there are fewer trains and a much less choice of times to book online. You can get a good deal if you know a couple of weeks in advance which slot you want. A very exciting ascent and marvellous view of the glacier. The possible walks - one descent to the next station were not described very well so we only went to see the glacier and have a picnic. The descent became more monotonous!
Written September 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello, The entire Compagnie du Mont-Blanc team thanks you for sharing your experience. The tramway descent is in the mountain pastures, in the middle of nature, indeed ! We hope to see you again on your next visit to Chamonix. Best regards,
Written September 11, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jerjon
Mojave, CA704 contributions
Jun 2022
We were so glad we took the cogwheel train up the mountain. We didn't realize how long the entire journey was-1 hour 15 minutes each way. We went late in the day, so we didn't have time to hike around or stop at the "refuge" at the top for refreshments. I suggest going early, bring water and snacks as you will be on the train a long time.

The inclines that the train ascends/descends are very steep and make for an unforgettable experience. The views of the mountains slowly unwind before you. It is a very relaxing trip and the views from the summit are spectacular. Definitely glad that we did this!
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The Compagnie du Mont Blanc team would like to thank you for taking the time to share your experience of the Mont Blanc Natural Resort destinations. Yours faithfully,
Written June 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pathfinder483515
45 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
A fabulous train trip up the highest mountain in Europe, this charming train trip takes you up to the edge of the glacier.
First the practicals, book in advance, it sells out, start your journey at the bottom, for best chance of a seat. When you get to the top, get your return time, and allow at least one hour at the top to explore.
This really is a must do, the train gives a near perpendicular route to the top of the mountain, the views are amazing, at some points it feels you are above the mountains. It is spectacular, a superb day out, suitable for everyone
Written August 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello, The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc team thanks you for sharing your experience. We hope to see you again on your next visit to Chamonix. Best regards,
Written August 11, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Arianne1985
Melrose, UK273 contributions
Jul 2017 • Family
A trip on the Tramway du Mont-Blanc is worth doing but, like all of the popular attractions in the Alps, you need to plan ahead otherwise it could become an expensive horror show for you all. You probably already know it's great from the other reviews so this is your practical guide to get the best from your experience...

Firstly, an important point. People confuse the Tramway du Mont Blanc with the Montenvers train to the Mer de Glace. Some of the latter reviews have even made it onto this TripAdvisor listing in error. So let's get this right - the Tramway du Mont Blanc starts from St Gervais le Fayet and winds its way up to Nid d'Aigle. The Montenvers train starts in Chamonix and ends at the Mer de Glace. They're two very different trips.

Okay, back to the Tramway du Mont Blanc (TMB). In summary, this is a whopping 70 minute journey on quaint, narrow gauge carriages up through forested mountainsides and along scenic ridges before ending at Nid d'Aigle. If possible, sit on the right-hand side of the train as you ascend. Almost all of the best views can be had from this side (another, older review suggested the other side but that reviewer was describing the other train to Mer de Glace so ignore him!).

The important things to remember on this trip are as follows:

1. In peak summer season the train is busy. So it's best to book your train going up the mountain in advance. I'll explain how you do that later.
2. When you get to Nid d'Aigle at the top, you need to book your return train before you stroll off into the mountains. You do that from the little cabin and they will give you a plastic card which you need to keep safe.
3. Early trains are less busy and so you will enjoy your journey better (both up and down the mountain). We ascended on the 8:30am train from St Gervais le Fayet and returned on the 11:25am from Nid d'Aigle. We were able to choose our seats on the ascent and had almost the whole carriage to ourselves on the return. As they say: the early bird catches the worm!
4. Choose your day carefully and mornings are better. You need a sunny, clear day. Either no cloud or only a little cloud otherwise you will see almost nothing and your money will be wasted. Check the web weather forecasts like Accuweather and plan ahead.
5. Take warm clothing even in Summer. At altitude the temperature is cooler, especially if its breezy. In your back pack you should have a jumper, some trousers (if you're wearing shorts), a shower-proof jacket, water and a sugary snack. With these as a minimum you will get by if the weather changes unexpectedly.
6. Nid d'Aigle, the end of the line, is not a place you will want to spend much time. The railway was meant to continue far beyond Nid d'Aigle but, because of the mobilisation of French troops in 1913 when the railway opened, the owners abandoned the plan to press on due to financial issues with tourist revenue. So you will either want to do some hiking beyond Nid d'Aigle, take the ten minute walk up to the Refuge for a snack / drink or catch the return train almost immediately!
7. If you have a mobility difficulty then Nid d'Aigle isn't for you. There are steps down from the train and the path to the Refuge is rough and uneven. Not good for babies in buggies.

So that's the essential stuff covered. Here's the detail to make your journey even better.

Plan ahead. Like most things in life a little planning will reward you handsomely! Firstly, check the weather online. Pick a sunny day (mornings are better because cloud always builds in this area from midday) and then book your place via the TMB website. This is easy and free. You create an account, choose your train and the website will show available spaces. Select your train and the number of seats you require. You will then receive a confirmation email. You actually buy your tickets at the cash desk so you don't pay on the website. The cashier has a printed list so, tell them your name and they will give you your tickets and some small, plastic cards with your train time shown. Hand these cards to the Guard when you board the train.

Only a certain number of space is available for reservation. So leave it too late and the advance bookings may have all been taken. But book too far ahead and the weather might change. Our own experience was that, for the 8:30am train, we booked 24hrs before and it worked fine in mid-July. Weekends and August may be busier though. You cannot reserve space on the same day of travel.

Choose you station: We chose St Gervais le Fayet. This is the main station so don't make the mistake of choosing St Gervais as they are different stations, albeit quite close to each other. The train stops at both but St Gervais le Fayet is the start of the line so you will have the best choice of seat. You can also jump on at St Gervais or the other stations up the line but the train will be busier by then.

Car Parking: this is easy. There is plenty of free, long-term parking in the station car park. The TMB leaves from the tramway by the side of the station and not the main station itself - look for the preserved steam locomotive and you're there!

The ascent: as previously stated, sit on the right hand side of the carriage for the best views. The first 30% of the trip is through forest with few opportunities for views due to the trees. The next section is along the ridge with lovely views from either side. The final section, up to Nid d'Aigle beyond Bellevue, is rugged and the mountainside falls away steeply from the track. Again, the right hand side of the carriage is where you want to be. There are superb views of the mountains and glacier. The seating is wooden but okay. I am not sure you would want to stand for 70 minutes if the carriage is very busy and it is hot though. The gradient is 25% at some points and the carriages are not stepped so it can be difficult to balance if standing without something to grasp.

Nid d'Aigle: this is the end of the line. Most other excursions end with a sense of occasion but not so with the TMB. It's quite sad really that the line never pushed beyond Nid d'Aigle. It is what it was meant to be - one day in 1913 the workmen dropped their tools and joined the French Army, having been called up following mobilisation. The track peters out and Nid d'Aigle has just the booking wooden shed and a few wooden steps. The owners, back in 1913, had pegged out the next stage of the track but it was never built. Nid d'Aigle is perched on the side of the mountain on a narrow ledge by the track. The view is restricted to 180deg and not the 360deg that you might have expected. Although the railway is called the Tramway du Mont Blanc it never actually gets near to Mont Blanc although that was the original intent. Don't travel to Nid d'Aigle if you cannot do steps, it's not wheelchair or push-chair friendly! Having said that, it isn't over-developed and has a charm of its own because of that - far better than the Jungfrau tourist trap.

Refuge Nid d'Aigle: About ten minutes beyond the end of the line is the Refuge. It's a fairly wide track but a little steep and strewn with rocks and shale. It's fine if you are wearing walking boots but would be a bit uncomfortable in trainers. We spent about an hour sitting outside the Refuge at a picnic bench having tea, some blueberry tart and soup. It's basic but charming and the team were friendly. They only take cash and it's not cheap - but then everything needs to be hauled up to the Refuge and all of our food was made on site from scratch. We enjoyed it and there is a decent view of the valley below and the glacier (the grey, dirty bottom end so don't get excited).

Personally, I enjoyed the trip for its beauty, charm and time spent with my family. It wasn't an exciting trip like the cable cars of Aguille du Midi or Brevent. But my family members are less adventurous than me and so a happy life is about collaborating together. They found the walking at the top to the Refuge a dizzy experience, were nervous and a bit scared. So it shows how we are all different. Nid d'Aigle was underwhelming compared to the viewpoints of Brevent, Aguille du Midi etc. But then I new that because of the other reviews and the fact it is the unplanned end of the line. My other two family members loved it.

Having said that, if we had needed to stand all of the way up and back on the train, if the weather was cloudy at the top or I had expected more then I would have written a very different review.

Cost: about 39 euro per adult for the whole trip and return as at Summer 2017. Compared to the Jungfrau in Grindelwald this is genuinely good value (that train through the mountain was almost entirely in a tunnel, the summit was over-developed, there were also restricted views but the glacier was amazing though). So it's not cheap but this stuff never is, especially if you have adult teenagers.

If you're in or around Chamonix then this is worth doing but not a 'must-do'. But it's a trek from Chamonix by car, train or bus. By the way, the three electric carriages are named Anne, Jeannie and Marie after the owner's daughters back in the 1950s. The fourth daughter never had a train named after her! Each is painted a different colour. The original steam locomotives were supposed to only operate until the line was built and then electric units were planned immediately - but money was tight and so the faithful (but slow) steam locomotives had to work the line for decades.

I hope this review has helped you with your decision and plans for the Tramway du Mont Blanc trip. Enjoy it as to have the opportunity to visit such places is a wonderful thing in itself.

Best wishes,

Arianne
Written July 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lordsithcz
Prague, Czech Republic195 contributions
Jul 2013 • Friends
Last week I decided along with my husband and couple of friends to take the TMB given we were nearby and it was highly advertised. Though the scenery was outstanding I would not recommend this trip for families with small children or for elders.
While returning, the tramway stopped in Le Fayet station and part of the people went down. Suddenly, the tram burst and started going. In couple of seconds, people remaining inside and that were supposed to arrive in Saint Gervais les Bains started screaming and a father with his child were about to jump off the tramway. My friend kept repeating "nobody is driving the tram" and I did realize indeed there was no driver in the cabin !!! Suddenly an employee of the TMB started running outside and managed to jump in and pull the hand break as the tram was about to derail. No apologies were offered no explanation and the actual driver came laughing 5 min afterwards. I was seriously grateful this didnt happen on the mountain else we'd be dead. It turned out that the driver simply got out of tramway in the Le Fayet station to chit chat with his friends (driver was some chubby dark haired guy). all this happened on 10th of July around 5:50 - 5:57 pm local time
Written July 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

madone1181
Penang Island, Malaysia147 contributions
Jul 2016 • Couples
Like most of the review here, this adventure is a must when you're in Chamonix and especially when you bought the Mont Blanc passes, 2,3 or 5 days! But like my title, theres something really important which i think all of you should know before going to this attraction.
First of all, this is not anywhere near Chamonix!! The main station that will bring you guys up to the mountain is in Saint-Gervais Le Bains, which is quite far from Chamonix. The thing is, you have to either drive, take a train or bus to get here. We went to St Gervais by train, and the travel time from Chamonix city center is quite a while which i can say around 1 hour more or less. I think if you take the Chamonix bus, it will be even longer.
The station is right beside the St Gervais main train station, so you wont be lost finding the cute train. One other things which i think you guys should know is that the trip to the edge of the mountain or the whole travel time one way to the mountain is sooo long around 2 hour or more. That mean, you will spend more than 4 hours just to travel in the train, and of course you gonna spend another hour up in the mountain which makes your time around 5 or 6 hours!! Then you have to travel back to Chamonix for another 1 hour.
The thing is, If you guys bought 2 days passes like we did, it really gonna eat much of your time and you cant see other attraction because when u finally got back to Chamonix, most of the attraction is closed! The attraction really need one full day to enjoy. My advise, if you already ride the montvers the glace tram, its really about the same but shorter time and nearer to Chamonix. I think u can skip this one and concentrate on other things to do on your itinerary..
Written August 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jaceLondon
United Kingdom53 contributions
Aug 2013 • Family
Journey up. Get on at the start, we got on 1st stop. No chance. Baby and a toddler, nobody gave us a seat, even when we wobbled.
Up there, really cool place to visit.
On way down, you queue for ages, then the rudest French in the world (northern I believe) queue jump. Be prepared to hurl abuse or face not getting a seat, even though you queue for ages.

To be fair, the journey up and the pathetic nature of the local tourists, really put us off this place.

Perhaps being English, we're more used to polite behaviour and trying to get along with one and other.

The organisers would be better placed ensuring their customers are catered for. Anyone caught queue jumping gets to walk it. Or perhaps the general attitude here is "fight for your place"
Written April 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RuudH74300
Araches-la-Frasse, France51 contributions
Aug 2014 • Family
Take this rack railway with an unique view of the Aiguilles de Chamonix and the Dômes de Miage to reach the Bellevue plateau and discover some beautiful walks ideal for families. Take the train, up to Nid d’Aigle for a splendid view of the Bionnassay glacier.

Inaugurated in 1909, the Mont-Blanc Tramway is one of the oldest mechanical uphill rides in the Valley and the mountain rack railway is th highest in France.

Starting from Saint-Gervais or le Fayet, it enables you to reach the Nid d'Aigle (2380m), at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier, first stop for mountaineers setting out to climb Mont-Blanc. Throughout the journey, you can enjoy a unique view over the surrounding valleys. Setting out from le Fayet, the Mont-Blanc Tramway takes 1 ¼ hours to climb from 580 m to 2372 m. Six stops offer hikers a number of possible starting points for excursions:
Written September 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Debra G
Manchester, UK22 contributions
Jan 2018 • Couples
Took the trip up and back on our last day of our holiday. Had a brew in the 1930 tea room in st gervais. Lovely views of chocolate box snow capped mountains and pine forests. Be warned there is nothing to do once at the top, you'll struggle to while away the time until the next tram comes, unless walking is your thing. We stayed on the same tram and did the return journey on the same tram
Written March 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Tramway du Mont-Blanc (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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