Text and Photos Michel Azéma

Funiculars of Switzerland

Funiculaire Châtelard - Château d'Eau

(photo Michel Azéma 1987)

The funicular Châtelard - Château d'Eau was built in 1920 to carry heavy materials for the Barberine dam erected by the CFF (Chemins de Fers Fédéreaux) near the french border between Chamonix (France) and Martigny (Switzerland) in the canton of Valais.

In 1935 the funicular was opened to the public and closed in 1968. Trains Touristiques d'Emosson SA was created in 1974 to save the funicular from the destruction.

The funicular reopened in 1975 and the Petit Train Panoramique d'Emosson opened the same year.

In fact Train Touristique d'Emosson SA is operating three interesting railways:

- the funicular Châtelard - Château d'eau,

- the Petit Train Panoramique d'Emosson (which is a 60 cm gauge train),

- Minifunic d'Emosson (which is a small funicular which brings the tourists from the end of the train at the bottom of the dam up to the Emosson lake).

The funicular Châtelard - Château d'eau is one of the steepest funiculars of Switzerland (maximum gradient of 87%). It is the steepest funicular of Switzerland with 2 alternative cabins and a siding. It is certainly the most attractive and impressive funicular I have ever ridden.



A: Funiculaire Châtelard - Château d'Eau
B: Minifunic d'Emosson
C: Petit Train Panoramique d'Emosson
D: Martigny - Châtelard (MC) cog wheel train


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Technical Datas

Type of funicular
Type of tracks
Lower station Châtelard (1129 m)
Top station Château d'Eau (1821 m)
Length 1306 m
Diff. of levels 692 m
Maximum Gradient 87 %
Speed 2,5 m/s
Gauge 1 m
 Time of a ride
12 '
Parc d'Attractions du Châtelard VS
Gare du Funiculaire


Tel: ++41 (0)27.769.11.11

Fax: ++41 (0)27.769.11.15



Copyright © 1996-2010 Funimag
Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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