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The Swallow line, between heaven and earth...
Claimed to be one of the most beautiful railway journeys in France, the Ligne des Hirondelles crosses the Jura, in a trip lasting 2½ hours, travelling over 120 km between plain and mountain, through the forest of Chaux, the vineyards of Arbois, the vast Grandvaux plateaus, and the Valley of la Bienne.
It boasts a number of very impressive engineering structures. The 123 kilometre line, linking Dole and Saint-Claude, goes through 36 tunnels and crosses 18 viaducts. It climbs from 200 metres of altitude (at Dole station) to 948 metres (at its highest point, the Col de la Savine) before descending again to 440 metres of altitude at Saint-Claude. The trip from Morez to Saint-Claude alone goes through 18 tunnels, totalling 470 metres, with 10 bridges and viaducts. The leg from Morbier to Morez epitomises the Swallows Line.
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