Chemin De Fer Du Montenvers
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Chemin De Fer Du Montenvers

Chemin de fer du Montenvers
Montenvers Mer de Glace.jpg
Train leaving Montenvers station by the Mer de Glace
OwnerCompagnie du Mont-Blanc
LocaleHaute-Savoie region of France
Typerack railway
Operator(s)Compagnie du Mont-Blanc
Line length5.1 km (3.2 mi)
Number of tracksSingle track
Rack systemStrub
Track gauge
Electrification11 kV 50 Hz Catenary
Highest elevation1,913 m (6,276 ft)
Maximum incline22%

The Montenvers Railway or Chemin de fer du Montenvers is a rack railway line in the Haute-Savoie region of France. The line runs from a connection with the SNCF, in Chamonix, to the Hotel de Montenvers station, at the Mer de Glace, at an altitude of 1,913 m (6,276 ft).


The line is 5.1 km (3.2 mi) long and has a track gauge of . It is a rack and adhesion railway, using the Strub rack system to overcome a height difference of 871 m (2,858 ft). Except for the terminal stations, which are operated in adhesion mode, the line has a gradient varying from 11% to 22%.

The line is operated by the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc [fr] which also manages the Mont Blanc Tramway and many ski lifts in the Mont Blanc region. The first section of the line as far as Caillet opened in 1908 and the line was completed in 1909.[1]

2-4-2T rack loco No 6 at Chamonix

The trains originally were drawn by steam locomotives built by SLM who supplied six 2-4-2T locomotives between 1908 and 1923. By 1953 the line was electrified, using an overhead line at 11 kV AC and 50 Hz, and service is provided by six electric railcars and trailers and three diesel locomotives, all from SLM. Trains run at 14 to 20 km/h (9 to 12 mph) and take 20 minutes for the journey.[2]

A cable car connects the station at Montenvers with the glacier which is tunnelled out at that point enabling tourists to walk inside the glacier.[3]


Accident 25 August 1927 on the Montenvers viaduct

On 25 August 1927, the locomotive and the first car of a two-car train derailed on the Montenvers viaduct, killing 15 people and injuring 30 others.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Mer de Glace & Montenvers Cog Railway, Chamonix". Chamonet. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ Young, Edward (1979). Shell Guide to France. London: Michael Joseph. p. 352.
  3. ^ "Montenvers - Mer de Gace". Chamonix Valley official website. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ "Incidents - Accidents" (in French). November 2004. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012.

External links

Coordinates: 45°55?54?N 6°55?03?E / 45.931729°N 6.917455°E / 45.931729; 6.917455

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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