This classic, little red train offers a leisurely and scenic ride through the French Alps. It’s a relic straight from the Golden Age of rail travel.
Built in the 1880s, Le Petit Train de La Mure – “Little Train of La Mure” in French – transported coal from the many mines throughout the Matheysin plateau to Grenoble, the region’s capital. However, it quickly became known for also providing picturesque mountain views, and for the three Romanesque viaducts the train crosses. As a result, many filmmakers have visited and filmed the train, including early film pioneer Léon Gaumont.
In 1902, Le Petit Train de La Mure became the first electrically-powered railroad in the world. It remains an early example of the pioneering technological and scientific development that the region has always been known for.
Know Before You Go
The train runs Tuesday through Sunday, approximately every hour between 9:00 am and 5:38 pm, however this changes depending on the season, so it is best to check online before you go.
The line starts at the newly renovated train station (or “gare”) in the town of La Mure, lasts about 45 minutes, and ends at the Grand Balcon (or “Great Balcony”) where you can have lunch at the Restaurant Panoramique and – as the name suggests – enjoy a great view of the Monteynard Dam and the Vercors mountain range. After lunch, simply take the train back to La Mure. For those who want to learn more about the region’s mining history, get off at the Mine Image, a coal mine-turned-museum that lets you visit underground mine shafts.