MONT BLANC EXPRESS & ST BERNARD EXPRESS
Both of these train routes begin in Martigny, in the French speaking region of Switzerland, east of Lake Geneva, passing over the high moutains where the famed St Bernard breed of dog was bred. The Mont Blanc Express which take its name from the Alps highest mountain, travels into France, terminating in Chamonix. The St Bernard Express is an excursion train which travel along the valley then up to the St Berrnard Pass for mountain activities, terminating at the historic Grand St Bernard Hospice. In Martigny, you can visit the museum of the famous Swiss dog breed, then explore the St Bernard Pass where the animal was used rescue pilgrims trying to cross the high Alpine ridges by foot in days past.
Mont Blanc Express
The beginning point for the Mont Blanc Express is in Martigny in the region of Valais, traversing the wild Trient Gorge and climbing to breath-taking mountain heights toward Chamonix, with views of rushing waterfalls and majestic mountain crags rising in the background. The scenery shifts from shady thick forests, passing through cozy little Alpine villages until ultimately passing below the magnificent glacier of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, then descending briefly into France. The trip normally takes about an hour, but for the next two years a tunnel construction project is underway on the French side. In May/early June and possible Oct/Nov the line will be closed from the Swiss border to Argentière. During this time a bus will carry passengers from Le Chatelard to Argentière, where the train can be boarded for the rest of the way to Chamonix. The bus is included with the ticket or pass. But allow two hours for the trip.
St. Bernard Express
Just like the Mont Blanc Express, the St. Bernard Express begins its journey in Martigny, where it makes a few stops as the local town transporation train, with stops near the St Bernad Musuem and Roman Amphiteater, then climbing through the Val d’Entremont to Orsières, from where a bus coontinues to Champex-Lac and La Fouly – and in summer months (mid-June to late September) up to the hospice on the Grand Saint Bernard Pass, where you can see the legendary kennels where the dogs are bred at altitude and a small museum of Roman artifacts.
Passes on Mont Blanc and St Bernard
Both the Mont Blanc and St Bernard Express trains are essential regional trains included in a Swiss Pass or other Swiss Transportation or Eurail Passes and require no supplement. A Swiss Pass is valid all the way to Chamonix. Martigny is located about half-way between Geneva and Brig in the Swiss Valais. If taking the Mont Blanc Express have valid entry documents for France (Shengen Europe). For U.S. and Canadian travelers this does not require anything beyond a valid passport.© sbr
More on Switzerland By Rail:
Blanc - St Bernard
Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
Lauvaux Wine Train
Lake Thun & Brienz
Scenic Switzerland By Train
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