Started officially on Saturday, 26 March 2005, the old Grasse-Cannes train line [map] became operational between Grasse and Cannes, and on to Antibes, Nice, Monaco, Menton, and Ventimiglia, all without changing.
The trains are smart looking, modern TER double-deckers. Sitting on the top level gives you a good view of the country-side: between Grasse and Cannes it's mostly green, with woods and fields, rose plantations and olive groves, ancient "Mas" (stone farmhouses), stone aqueducts and wildflowers.
The large, old station building in Grasse is bricked-up, but at least it's not torn down.
Grasse has a ticket office, and two automatic ticket dispensers (bornes) that take coins or cards. It can get crowded at train time, so come a bit early. Mouans-Sartoux has ticket dispensers (bornes) only. There are, of course, ticket offices at the main-line stations (Cannes, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Nice, etc.). Tickets are for same-day travel (no advance reservations). Full-fare cost is 6.80 euros round-trip between Grasse and Cannes.
Grasse and Mouans-Sartoux both have free parking right at the station.
An unfortunate warning for using the Grasse-Cannes train: During 2007 the Grasse-Cannes train schedules became problematic, with many trains cancelled because of strikes, and the operational information was never communicated to the SNCF website. (We sometimes checked on the current schedule, drove over to the station within 10 minutes, and found that that train had been cancelled since the day before.
Some of the wildcat strikes were apparently because the staff thought the severe neglect by the SNCF was a sign that the line was going to be shut down. Well, it's still running (Jan 2008), but not with a regular schedule. Because of severe security problems around the Ranguin - La Frayère area, the train will not depart on a scheduled trip unless there are police on the train; and that's never know until it's time for the train to depart.
A sad state of affairs for French rail travel in general, and for those of us in the Grasse area in particular. At least the Alpes-Maritimes buses cost only 1 euro, although they're limited to the speed of the general traffic flow.
We're into the Spring of 2009, and the situation isn't any better. There may (or may not) be more of the trains running as planned, but there's no way to tell until you show up at the station.
About one per hour, from about 6 am to 10 or 11 pm. The stops are:
Golfe Juan - Vallauris
Jaun les Pins
Villeneuve Loubet Plage
Nice St Auustin
Monaco - Monte-Carlo
These are the depart times from Grasse towards Cannes, and the depart times from Cannes towards Grasse. Some of these trains are weekdays only, weekends only, etc., so check with the station (or SNCF online) for the day you intend to travel.
[ see also Bus Grasse-Cannes ]
(direction Cannes, Nice, Menton)
|05h32, 06h40, 07h11, 08h37, 09h37, 10h34, 11h00, 12h51, 13h37, 14h37, 15h37, 16h37, 17h37, 18h37, 19h37, 20h37, 21h50, 22h37|
|05h55, 06h23, 07h41, 08h26, 09h25, 10h25, 11h25, 12h24, 13h24, 14h28, 15h04, 16h24, 17h25, 18h25, 19h25, 20h25, 21h24, 22h25|
Trains from Grasse to Cannes continue on via Antibes, Nice, Eze, Monaco, Menton and Ventimiglia (with other stops along the way).
Trip Times (approximate)
Grasse-Cannes - 25 minutes
Grasse-Nice - 1 hr to 1h30
Grasse-Menton - 1h30 to 2h00
Our comments during the project (2003-2004) were:
The old rail line between Grasse and Cannes, that we've done so many awkward-stepping hikes along, was torn up (2002-2003) in preparation for the new line. The building of the new Cannes-Grasse rail line is nearing completion, now due for end March 2005.
The old wooden ties and short steel rails have been torn out, and are off for recycling. A completely new rail bed has been installed, along with modern cement ties and welded rails. Sadly (in our opinion), the classic old diesel "autorail" cars will be replaced with modern TER rail cars, powered from the overhead electrical lines.
We don't yet know what the stops will be, but there are plans to have automatic ticket dispensers at Mouans-Sartoux, Ranguin, Bosquet and La Frayère.
We hope some of the old, little station buildings will be refurbished. A new, large parking lot is already in place at the Grasse station, and there's a free navette (shuttle bus) between the station and the center of Grasse.