Sunday, July 29, 2018

Saint Gervais - Le Fayet, Andermatt

Today I'm travelling from France to Switzerland.
Bus or train, at Annecy station there are both
Annecy is located at Aix-les-Bains–Annemasse railway.
My first train will be this TER to Saint Gervais-Le Fayet. It is a SNCF Class Z27500
New station terminal opened in 2012
Z27500 and Z24500

TGV Dasye
TGV for Spain and France
TGV for Germany, Switzerland and France
Crocodile train protection system

SNCF Class BB 22200

The Alps are getting closer

At La Roche-sur-Foron the train is changing direction in order to continue on La Roche-sur-Foron to Saint-Gervais-les-Bains-Le Fayet line.


E25 road from Hoek van Holland to Genoa.
Léman Express is a commuter rail system that will open in 2019. It is a combined French RER and Swiss S-Bahn system.
Shortly before arrival to Saint Gervais, I can spot the highest mountain in Europe - Mont Blanc (4808m)

There is staff at each French station which is unusual scene in Sweden. Maybe that's why rail operations in France is more expensive than in other neighbouring countries...
Saint Gervais - Le Fayet is the terminus station for the standard gauge railway. From here I will continue with the narrow gauge railway to Vallorcine.
It is also the starting point of the Mont Blanc tramway which is the highest in France and the fourth highest in Europe.
This mountain railway opened in 1907

Unfortunately no trains in the morning

Mont Blanc Express will be my next train. It is operated jointly by SNCF in France and TMR in Switzerland. Two mountain lines are Saint-Gervais to Vallorcine and Châtelard to Martigny.
Z850 Stadler Spatz is the train operated on this line. Spatz is for "Schmalspur-PAnorama-TriebZug".

Third rail electrification with 850V DC on the line
I haven't seen station lockers on the other stations in France, but here at Saint Gervais - Le Fayet they do exist.
At Annecy I could see Flixbus - one of the major bus companies in Europe. Here in France, Ouibus - a subsidiary of SNCF is one of the major bus companies.
Inside the middle panorama coach of Stadler Spatz

The railway is climbing uphill from 580m at Saint Gervais to Col des Montets tunnel at 1365m

There is a 5min stop at Chamonix station
The station opened in 1901

At Vallorcine there is a change of trains
Vallorcine is the last station on the line located in France

To the left is the train from France. To the right is the train to Switzerland.

The line towards France with third rail

The line Martigny–Châtelard is using overhead wire.
Le Châtelard-Frontière is the first stop in Switzerland
Many tunnels on this short 18km line
The train speed here is just 25km/h

Rhone valley
At Martigny, the line is connecting with SBB Lausanne-Brig line
I see the SBB train on the other side, so I'm running to it
After two mountain railways, it is time to rest in a standard gauge train
My goal today is to reach another mountain railway - Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn and the town of Andermatt
BLS railway
The railway from Lötschberg base tunnel

At Brig there is another change of trains
Brig station
Furka Oberalp railway is part of the Matterhorn-Gotthard-Railway. Here is a HGe 4/4 II locomotive
Glacier Express train named "slowest express train in the world" is passing by

Besides the express train, there is a frequent Regio service on the line

First class coach of the Regio train
The coach of the train has windows that can be opened

Rhône river

Another Glacier Express
The line was started to be constructed in 1911, while the Glacier Express started its services in 1930

Grengiols bridge and sweeping tunnel


Gondola lift in Fiesch

Opened in summer 2015, the "Goms Bridge" is 280 m long and 1.40 m wide. This suspension bridge crosses the Rhone river at a height of 92 m.

Famous Swiss cows with bells

Biel (Goms)

Münster VS

Oberwald at 1365.9m above sea level.
From Wikipedia: "Furka base tunnel is 15,407m in length, and replaced the previous track that climbed to an apex of 2,160m above sea level, thus allowing year-round service through service on the Furka–Oberalp line. The old line has been reopened by the Furka Heritage Railway for tourist trains which pass the Furka Pass via the 1.8 km long Furka Summit Tunnel."

There is a passing loop in the middle of the tunnel
Vehicle transport through the tunnel

On the other side of the tunnel is Realp, 1538m above sea level


Last stop is Andermatt
After finding my hotel I'm taking a walk in town

Pfarrkirche St. Peter und Paul

Mariahilf Kapelle

Andermatt is located at an altitude of 1437 meters above sea level
From Andermatt the railway is continuing up to Oberalppass, which is the highest point at 2033m above sea level. I will be taking this route on the following day.
Here is a train climbing down

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