Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday 4 October - Bex and Aigle

We had a very detailed schedule today to look at the lines running into the mountains.
We took the SBB to Bex and caught the tram to Villars sur Olton. Bex is an attractive, sleepy village and the tram runs through some narrow streets. In the country the running is mainly roadside. We ran against the traffic for some considerable distance and motorists had to go into the other side to avoid us.
Villars sur Olton
The line goes on to Col de Bretaye but is mainly for the winter skiing, there is an impressive golf course.
Coming back to Villars we traveled in an impressive restaurant/lounge car. 
There was a small market at Villars and we had lunch of a pork pie and a fish roll.
Villars sur Olton
The next part of the schedule was a bus to Aigle. This went through a large number of hairpin bends along very narrow roads. 
Aigle - decoration on a car
The bus brought us right to the station at Aigle and we took the train to Le Sepey and on to Les Diablarets.  This line is adhesion only and runs almost entirely through woodland apart from the vineyards close to the Aigle castle.
Aigle chateau

Back at Aigle there was time to walk around and look at an impressive living wall on the side of an apartment building and have a glass of the local red wine.

Our next trip was to Champerey. The first part is along the wide, flat Rhone valley but the climbing then commenced in earnest.
The character of this line was much different from the others. It served a number of communities, mainly farming, but ended at the bottom of a ski lift.
Back to Aigle, the sun had been out most of the day but the temperature drops rapidly in the evening.
Our final train to Leysin Fedey was different again. We made our way through the evening rush hour traffic and went into the depot yard. After reversal we climbed up the steep valley side through vineyards. In a couple of locations monorails are being used to help transport grapes down the steep slopes. The vendage was in full swing.
A-L train at Aigle in the old colors
At Leysin Fedey the train stopped and everyone got out. After a pause the train disappeared into a tunnel. Turns out the real end of the line is a couple of minutes further at or in the Grand Hotel.
The views of the mountains on the evening light changed from minute to minute. Light and dark, mingled with the mist and the occasional shafts of sun light through the clouds.

Click here to see all pictures taken at Bex and Aigle

We caught the train back to Martigny and had a Chinese meal. It was surprising how many young people were coming into Martigny on the train on Saturday night. There was lots of smoking and drinking on the station.  Martigny is very different from most Swiss towns. Garbage lying around, untidy, dirty, unkempt, weeds in streets.
For the record this is the schedule we followed.
SBB 0819 Martigny to Bex 0834.
Bex Villars Bretay Rly (BVB) 0839 Bex to Villars sur 0919; 0935 Villars to Bretaye 0953; 1000 Bretaye to Villars 1020.
Bus TPC 1053 Villars to Aigle 1130.
Aigle Le Sepay Diablerets Rly (ASD) 1155 Aigle to Diablerets 1243; 1248 Diablerets to Aigle 1338.
Aigle Othon Monthey Champerey Rly (AOMC) 1422 Aigle to Champerey 1521; 1534 Champerey to Aigle 1536.
Aigle Leysin Rly (AL) 1656 Aigle to Leysin 1723; 1756 Leysin to Aigle 1832.
SBB 1851 Aigle to Martigny 1909
All ran to time