From Le Châtelard into France

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BeeGood2All
BeeGood2All
7 posts
new member
Feb 15, 2017 - 11:28 AM

I will be in Le Châtelard area. If I want to take a short day trip to Chamonix from there, what are the options without going back to Martigny? The SBB timetable shows rail times to Chamonix with a change in Valorcine, France does not allow me to buy the ticket online. Can I buy the French train ticket at Le Châtelard station? Note: The SNCF timetable shows the trains from Le Châtelard to Chamonix but also does not allow me to buy the ticket online.

Lucas
Lucas
9602 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 15, 2017 - 4:54 PM in reply to BeeGood2All

Hi BeeGood2All and welcome to MySwissAlps!

It looks as if the most direct route is through Martigny. I take it you will have gone that route already and simply want a new way to get to Chamonix?

You can buy the ticket on SBB online...are you simply trying to avoid paying in CHF? If you buy a ticket at a Switzerland train station you must book and pay with SBB in chf.

Lucas

BeeGood2All
BeeGood2All
7 posts
new member
Feb 15, 2017 - 10:15 PM in reply to Lucas

Thank you for your comment, Lucas. As stated, I will already be in Le Châtelard (coming through Martigny) and and don't want to backtrack to Martigny. I'm not interested in the tourist Mt. Blanc Express and have already confirmed the most direct route is Le Châtelard to Chamonix via Valorcine. These tickets are not available online through SBB. I don't care what currency I use. The question is whether I can buy them at the Le Châtelard station.

Arno
Arno
11354 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 16, 2017 - 7:47 AM

Hi BeeGood2All,

I checked and it seems like SBB only offers tickets as far as Vallorcine. I checked several other sites too and can't find many that sell this. Only one in fact: en.voyages-sncf.com/en/, but they don't sell worldwide for some reason (not to the US), and it's not a print a home ticket.

There is a phone number for information and tickets: +41 27 723 33 30. Like any small train stop there should be a ticketing machine at the station. I've not come across stops without such a machine yet, except once where they were replacing it with a new one. What exactly the machine offers I don't know, but if there's no ticket into France just ask the conductor on the train. Unfortunately this is one of very few routes where it's quite unclear how to obtain tickets, and what the price is, but in reality it should not be an issue.

Last modified on Apr 16, 2018 - 2:01 PM by Arno
BeeGood2All
BeeGood2All
7 posts
new member
Feb 16, 2017 - 12:36 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you for your time and research. I found the attached timetable that shows two trains that are used to get from Martigny to Vallorcine (on TMR) and from Vallorcine to Chamonix ( on SCNF). The TMR makes the stop in Le Châtelard. I agree it should not be an issue to because locals in Le Châtelard must be able to easily go either direction. I found the price from Vallorcine to Chammonix (7 Euros) on ter.sncf.com but so far have not found the price from Le Châtelard to Vallorcine. It is just a short ride so surely could not be too much. It seems I will have to call to solve the mystery. I appreciate the phone number.

I also sent a question to the SBB station master to find out if the Le Châtelard-Vallorcine ride can be purchased from the ticket machine in Le Châtelard station and will let you know what they respond.

Please login to see the attached documents
BeeGood2All
BeeGood2All
7 posts
new member
Feb 16, 2017 - 4:07 PM

I did a little more research on this. i can buy a ticket from SBB going from almost any station in Switzerland to Vallorcine, France. If the route goes through Martigny, there is a train change there and you end up on the train that also stops at Le Châtelard station just before Vallorcine, France. However, I am not able to buy a ticket from SBB for only Le Châtelard station to Vallorcine, France. This seems a bit odd, but it appears that if I was traveling with a Swiss pass, it would be good all the way to Vallorcine from anywhere in Switzerland. It makes me wonder if I could get on the train in Le Châtelard and use the Swiss pass to go to Vallorcine without needing any other ticket. Or at worst case, get on the train in Le Châtelard and go one stop back towards Martgny to Finhaut, get off there and then get on the next train coming from Martigny and just stay on it to the end of the line in Vallorcine.

I'm at a loss about the Return though, because while I can buy a ticket from SBB from most any Switzerland station to Vallorcine, if I add Return to it, it says it can not be processed! Nor can I buy a ticket from SBB from Valorcine back into Switzerland even though they can sell me one to get there ...most intriguing!

Arno
Arno
11354 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 17, 2017 - 3:16 PM

Hi BeeGood2All,

Thanks for sharing your findings! If you have a Swiss Travel Pass it's very simple as it covers the entire ride to Chamonix. You do not need a ticket at all in that case: myswissalps.com/swisst ravelpass/validity (see the map). If you don't have a pass I'd recommend to get this specific ticket locally. The machine most probably can issue a ticket without a problem, or worst case the conductor can.

BeeGood2All
BeeGood2All
7 posts
new member
Feb 17, 2017 - 3:49 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you for confirming the Swiss Pass validity to points in France on the line to Chamonix! The map shows it but it seems the information is not know by some. I had this interesting chat on myswitzerland.com:

Bob Didocha

Is the Swiss Travel Pass valid to Chamonix?

Chat started

Peter joined the chat

Peter

Hello no Chamonix does not belong to the validation area.

Bob Didocha

I am looking at the Swiss Travel System map:

Geltungsbereich Rayon de validité Campo di validità 2017 and it show the red line as valid for Swiss Travel pass. Is this incorrect?

Peter

I am sorry for my missinformation

Chamonix is included.

Bob Didocha

Merci vilmal. Have a great evening!

My inquiry to SBB station master about the ticket machine in Le Châtelard-Frontière only referred me to the TMR website:

Your message
> ------------------------------------
> At Le Châtelard-Frontière station, is it possible to purchase a ticket to Vallorcine, France through the ticket machine?

Dear Mr. Didocha

Thank you for your e-mail.

The station Le Châtelard-Frontière belongs to the Mont-Blanc-Express compagny.

So we beg to contact them with the following link:

www.tmrsa.ch/cms/fr/mo nt-blanc-express

Arno
Arno
11354 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 17, 2017 - 6:24 PM in reply to BeeGood2All

Yes, not everyone knows all the details. There were occasions where railway staff had to check what was included in my pass on the spot. But it always works out. A Swiss Travel Pass definitely covers you until Chamonix.

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