From 1835 onwards, numerous projects were submitted for the installation of a ski lift to the summit of Mont-Blanc. In 1904, the Haute-Savoie General Council approved Henri Duportal’s proposal. Thus was born the Compagnie du tramway du Mont-Blanc.
A tramway today well known to mountaineers
When work began in 1906, the TMB was intended to carry passengers to the top of Mont-Blanc. Technical difficulties, the estimated cost and the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 ultimately scuppered the ambition of this magnificent project. But nothing was lost!
As soon as it opened to the public in 1909, the Mont-Blanc tramway became an indispensable means of transport for mountaineers setting out to conquer the highest peak in Western Europe. It dropped them off at the Nid d’Aigle from where they prepared for their ascent, not far from the Bionnassay glacier.
Today, the Mont-Blanc tramway has become a popular tourist attraction in Saint Gervais. Every day, Anne la verte, Jeanne la rouge and Marie la bleue, the TMB’s three trains, take it in turns to take passengers to the Les Houches ski area in winter, or to the many hiking trails in summer.
From Le Fayet, the Mont-Blanc tramway stops at Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, 792 m above sea level, before beginning its ascent. Motivon, Col de Volza, Mont Lachat and Bellevue at 1,800 m are other winter resorts served by the TMB. Want to reach the Nid d’Aigle? You’ll have to wait until summer. Allow around 1 h 15 for the whole journey.