🚂 Vaud Riviera Trains and Funiculars in 2020

GoldenPass


In addition to the SBB line running along Lake Geneva from Lausanne towards Simplon, there are numerous railway lines on the Riviera that go up towards the surrounding mountains. These lines are managed by Transports Montreux-Vevey-Riviera (MVR) or the Montreux Oberland Bernois (MOB).  The GoldenPass Services brings together these 2 companies under a single logo and takes over their management and operation.

The Territet-Glion funicular with the GoldenPass logo.
The Territet-Glion funicular with the GoldenPass logo.

Construction


It is noteworthy that all the railway lines and funiculars of the Glodenpass were built at the end of the 19th and the very beginning of the 20th century in relatively short times for the means of the time. At the beginning of the 20th century there were no cars and the Riviera trains were the only means of easy travel in the region.

In the 1960s, the car, as it became more accessible, posed a threat to the trains of the Riviera, but fortunately, the vast majority of these lines have survived today with the notable exception of the line that linked Châtel-Saint-Denis to Saint-Légier.

Tracks


All train and funicular tracks in the Golden Pass have a metric gauge, i.e. the gauge between the rails is 1’000 mm. The only exception is the Rochers de Naye with a gauge of 800 mm.

The metric rack track of the Pleiades train.
The metric rack track of the Pleiades train.

The international standard gauge for a railway track is 1435 mm, which is the one used by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). The definition of this gauge was chosen for the first railway line in 1825 in England and later became a standard. It is interesting to note that this gauge was defined 2’000 years ago by the Romans in relation to the way their chariots ran.

MOB Line (1)


  • 🔗 Montreux–Zweisimmen
  • 🚊 Commissioning: 1905
  • 📏 Track gauge: 1’000 mm
  • 👁️ View ⭐⭐(3⭐ max): Vaud Riviera, Bernese Oberland

The Montreux Oberland Bernois train connects the Montreux SBB station to Zweisimmen in the Canton of Bern via Les Avants (VD), Montbovon (FR), Château d’Oex (VD) and Gstaad (BE).

It allows you to discover the Lake Geneva basin and the green landscapes of the Bernese Oberland.

The Mob arrives at les Avants station.
The Mob arrives at les Avants station.

Retro advertisement on the MOB displayed at the Montreux museum. The poster shows the main stations of the MOB: Montreux, Les Avants, Châteaux d’Oex, Rougemont, Saanen, Gstaad, Saanenmöser, Zweisimmen, Lenk.
Retro advertisement on the MOB displayed at the Montreux museum. The poster shows the main stations of the MOB

A vidéo on the MOB train.

MVR Lines (5)


Vevey – Les Pléiades train


  • 🔗 Vevey-Les Pleaides train
  • 🚊 Commissioning: 1911
  • 📏 Track gauge: 1’000 mm
  • 👁️ View ⭐⭐(3⭐ max): Lake Geneva basin, Alps

The Vevey – Les Pléiades train connects the Vevey SBB station to the summit of Les Pléiades via Saint-Légier and Blonay. From Les Pléiades, you can enjoy the Astropléiades park dedicated to the observation of the sky and a view of the Lake Geneva basin and the Fribourg Alps.

The Vevey – Les Pléiades train at Les Pléiades station.
The Vevey - Les Pléiades train at Les Pléiades station.

A video about the tVevey – Les Pléiades train.

Vevey-Mont-Pèlerin Funicular


  • 🔗 Vevey-Mont-Pèlerin funicular
  • 🚊 Commissioning: 1900
  • 📏 Track gauge: 1’000 mm
  • 👁️ View ⭐⭐(3⭐ max): Lake Geneva basin, Alps

The funicular connects Vevey, next to the Vevey Funicular SBB stop, to the village of Mont-Pelerin via Chardonne and the vineyards of the Vaud Riviera.

From the village of Mont-Pelerin you can enjoy a view of the Lake Geneva basin.

The Vevey-Mont-Pelerin train in the vineyard.
 The Vevey-Mont-Pelerin train in the vineyard.

Retro advertisement on the Mont-Pelerin funicular displayed at the Montreux museum.
Retro advertisement on the Mont-Pelerin funicular displayed at the Montreux museum.

A video on the Vevey- Mont-Pelerin funicular.

Les Avants-Sonloup Funicular


  • 🔗 Les Avants-Sonloup funicular
  • 🚊 Commissioning: 1910
  • 📏 Track gauge: 1’000 mm
  • 👁️ View ⭐⭐(3⭐ max): Rochers de Naye, Lake Geneva basin, Pléiades

The Avants – Sonloup funicular connects the village of les Avants next to the MOB station to the top of the Sonloup hill near the old hotel.

From Sonloup, you can enjoy a view on the west side over the Lake Geneva basin and les Pléiades and on the east side over the Rochers-de-Naye and the village of les Avants.

The Avants-Sonloup funicular at the upper station of Sonloup.
The Avants-Sonloup funicular at the upper station of Sonloup.

Retro advertising on the funicular les Avants – Sonloup displayed at the Montreux museum.
Retro advertising on the funicular les Avants - Sonloup displayed at the Montreux museum.

A video about the Avants – Sonloup funicular.

Montreux-Rochers de Naye train


  • 🔗 Montreux-Rochers de Naye train
  • 🚊 Commissioning: 1892 depuis Glion et 1909 depuis Montreux
  • 📏 Track gauges: 800 mm
  • 👁️ View ⭐⭐⭐(3⭐ max): Lake Geneva basin, Alps

The Rochers de Naye train connects the Montreux SBB station to the summit of Rochers de Naye at an altitude of almost 2,000 metres. From Rochers-de-Naye you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the Lake Geneva basin and the Alps. Other activities are available at the same place such as the enclosures of the Marmotte Paradise and the alpine garden of the Rambertia.

In winter, the train is used by skiers.

The Montreux-les Rochers de Naye train at the Rochers de Naye station.
The Montreux-les Rochers de Naye train at the Rochers de Naye station.

A video on the Rochers-de-Naye train.

Territet – Glion funicular


  • 🔗 Territet-Glion funicular
  • 🚊 Commissioning: 1882
  • 📏 Track gauge: 1’000 mm
  • 👁️ View ⭐⭐ (3⭐ max): Lake Geneva basin

The Territet – Glion funicular is the oldest funicular in French-speaking Switzerland. The villages of Territet and Glion are both located in the commune of Montreux on the Vaud Riviera. From Glion you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Lake Geneva basin and the village is situated on the course of the Chauderon gorges.

Glion is connected to the Montreux-Rocher de Naye train and Territet is connected to the SBB station of the same name.

The Territet-Glion funicular halfway up.
The funicular Territet-Glion halfway up.

Retro advertisement on the Territet – Glion funicular displayed at the Montreux museum.
Retro advertisement on the Territet - Glion funicular displayed at the Montreux museum.

A video on the Territet – Glion funicular.

Recycled line (1)


  • 🔗 Blonay-Chamby
  • 🚊 Construction en 1902, fermée en 1966)
  • 📏 Track gauge: 1’000 mm
  • 👁️ View ⭐ (3⭐ max): Lake Geneva basin

The Blonay-Chamby train line is a tourist train line opened in 1969 and runs old trains, especially those pulled by a steam locomotive. In the middle of the route is the Chaulin shed-museum where old trains and tramways can be visited.

In Blonay, the station is connected to the Vevey – les Pléiades train station and in Chamby, the station is connected to the MOB station.

The Chaulin museum exhibiting old machines.
The Chaulin museum exhibiting old machines.

Retro advertisement on the Blonay – Chamby train displayed at the Montreux museum.
Retro advertisement on the Blonay - Chamby train displayed at the Montreux museum.

A video on the Blonay Chamby train.

Abandoned lines (2)


Saint-Légier – Châtel-Saint-Denis train


  • St-Légier – Châtel-Saint-Denis (Built in 1904 and closed in 1969)

An unusual route, little known today, linked Châtel-Saint-Denis in the south of the canton of Fribourg to Saint-Légier in the heights of Vevey. This route, like the others on the Riviera, was built at the beginning of the 20th century at a time when only horses were used to travel. The very rapid development in the 1960s of the personal automobile caused the death of the line.

The old Blonay-Châtel train line. Photo: laliberte.ch
train vevey blonay

A video on the former St-Légier – Châtel train.

Territet – Mont Fleuri funicular


  • Funiculaire Territet – Mont Fleuri (Built in 1910 and closed in 1992)

Retro advertisement on the Territet – Glion funicular displayed at the Montreux museum.
Retro advertisement on the Territet - Glion funicular displayed at the Montreux museum.

A video on the Territet – Mont-Fleuri train.