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Train from Valence to Chamonix

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Detroit, Michigan
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Train from Valence to Chamonix

This is DoRae....I'm having trouble figuring out some rail times etc. I have purchased 2 Eurail Passes and have 1st class reservations on 3 TGV trains; however, originally we planned to go to Geneva from Nice via TGV and then to Chamonix but they cancelled the Nice-Geneva TGV so....they suggested going to Valence via TGV and then taking other trains to Chamonix....only trouble is how?.....via Lyon? via Grenoble/Chamberey? I'm so confused about this part. Our TGV train gets to Valence at 2:14 on June 9th.....Has anyone gone to Chamonix this way? Do you have any suggestions? Do I need tickets ahead of time or just hop on those trains with my rail pass? Thanks for any help you can give me. I really like these forums....talking to REAL people who have "been there, done that"!!

Ohio, USA
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1. Re: Train from Valence to Chamonix

DoRae -

Who are the "they" who suggested going to Chamonix via Valence? I'm fairly sure that, if you tried to do this, your route would first take you to Lyon, where your Valence train is probably headed anyway.

Therefore I'd think you should take the TGV all the way to Lyon, and then go to Chamonix from there.

I don't think getting to Chamonix is going to be quick, though. I'm thinking at least 3 hours from Lyon, and quite possibly more.

www.voyages-sncf.com

is the site you need to play around with timetables and look at options. In all probability (but I'm not sure about this) you will not need reservations beyond Lyon, but the SNCF site will tell you for sure.

Ohio, USA
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2. Re: Train from Valence to Chamonix

Furthermore the Nice-Geneva TGV has NOT been cancelled - or if it has SNCF (the French rail system) never got the memo.

Departs Nice 10:20, arrives Geneva 16:31.

Whoever you are using to buy your passes and make your reservations is giving you VERY bad information, and probably over-charging you into the bargain.

So WHO are these people so that others can avoid them in the future?

Detroit, Michigan
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3. Re: Train from Valence to Chamonix

Well, I had written down all the TGV's I wanted including the one from Nice to Geneva. Then to ensure I would be "covered" insurance-wise and to help out with phone calls (since I work full time and had trouble reaching Eurail, I went to my local AAA office. My agent worked directly with Eurail service and obtained the 2 TGV's (Lausanne to Paris) and Paris to Nice at end of our trip and also Eurostar to London. However, my agent said "they cancelled your TGV to Geneva." Then I called Eurail myself and they told me the same thing. They said it could possibly be put back on later but no guarantee. I canceled a hotel I had in Geneva for one night and added an additional night (9th) in Chamonix. Then Eurail suggested the Nice to Valence TGV (thru my AAA agent)(never said it went all the way to Lyon). Now I have paid for reservations on that TGV from Nice to Valence and no further and I'm stopped in Valence. I'm concerned about making connections now in Lyon in order to get to Chamonix the same night. Length of time doesn't matter and hotel is guaranteed although I think I'll miss the pretty part of the trip by arriving at night in Chamonix. I can still look forward to the train trip 3 days later to Zermatt and Zermatt to Lausanne. By the way for any "non-believers"....This trip all started because my Navy son won a week in Monte Carlo on the Price is Right and offered to take me along. The rest of this is just "icing on the cake". Thank for trying to help me out!

Ohio, USA
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4. Re: Train from Valence to Chamonix

Fear not! We can get you out of Valence and into Chamonix and, in the long run, probably no later than you would have gotten there anyway.

I have searched the SNCF site and I cannot find a train from Nice that arrives at 14:28. There IS one that leaves Nice at 10:31 and arrives at Valence at 14:14. I'm going to assume that is the train you are booked on.

This train will arrive at Valence TGV station which is on the outskirts of Valence. You need to take a shuttle from the TGV station to the Valence Ville (city) station. There is one that leaves at 14:30 and arrives at 14:50. The fare should be at most a couple of Euros. If all else fails, take a taxi.

From Valence Ville there is a train to Lyon that departs at 15:25 and arrives at 16:30.

Your next train leaves Lyon at 17:13, arriving St. Gervais les Bains at 20:15. I'm not 100% certain if you need to change trains here. In any case you will leave St. Gervais at 21:02 arriving in Chamonix at 21:37.

NONE of these trains requires a reservation.

That at least is what I found at

www.voyages-sncf.com

and if you want to go there and play around until you find all these trains (it only took me about five minutes but that is because I have used the site many times and know its foibles and idiosyncracies) you can print the whole itinerary to show to anyone along the way if you are looking for your next train or whatever. Or just use the info in this post to print your own itinerary.

If you have any more worries, just ask.

Cool that your son won the trip on the Price is Right and is taking you along!

And remember - have your pets spayed or neutered!

have a great trip!

Detroit, Michigan
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5. Re: Train from Valence to Chamonix

Dear IrishRovi

It doesn't surprise me that a fellow "Buckeye" would find an answer for me. I have printed off your reply to put in my "travel book". Today at work I finally found a couple minutes and hit it luck with reaching Eurail.....I told them that since they apparently had "screwed uP" on my TGV to Geneva the least they could do is help me out with my point-to-point tickets. I spoke to a very nice young man. He found trains from Valence to Annecy and then said take the bus from Annecy to Chamonix arriving at 9:00 p.m. I asked why the bus and he said something "New" came out today about no trains right now from Annecy to Chamonix.....probably working on the tracks.....they may or may not be done when I get there so at least I have some choices now. Thanks for your help!!! Go Buckeyes!!! DoRae