Going To the Alps?Take a Train
If you are fed up with having to pay airlines for taking your skis and board and you find flying a real hassle then maybe you should consider that old advertising slogan, to let the train take the strain.
Eurostar runs direct trains to the French Alps on Saturdays from December through to April and direct night trains on Fridays from January to April. Unlike airlines you can take your skis and snowboard as well as two suitcases at no extra charge. Trains leave from St Pancreas In London and Ashford in Kent. The trains stop at Moutiers, Aime la Plagne and Bourg Saint Maurice where you can then get a coach on to resorts like Courcheval, la Plagne, Tignes, Méribel and les Arcs.
The Friday overnight service takes around 10 hours leaving St Pancreas at 7.45pm, arriving in the French Alps on Saturday morning between 5.30 and 6.15am. The return service to London leaves after 10pm on Saturdays so on this service you effectively get an extra 2 days on the pistes. The Saturday service leaves St Pancreas at 9.45am and takes eight and a half hours getting to Moutiers at 6.15pm. The return journey is the following Saturday during the day.
Petition for a Sunday Service
A petition has been launched for a Sunday ski train. To date it has reached a 1,000 signatures. As 40% of all ski bookings are Sunday to Sunday a new service would certainly be popular with ski companies and chalet owners. At the moment if your holiday is Sunday to Sunday you need to take the Eurostar to Paris and then change station and catch an intercity service to the Alps.This amount of changing is not always that practical with loads of ski equipment.
Eurostar say they are considering the petition and looking at the commercial viability of the potential new service. If you do want to get involved in this debate then visit change.org.
The Benefits of Rail Travel
There are clear financial benefits when you look at the fact that you can travel with your skis and snowboard free of charge. But other benefits include the fact that it is more environmentally friendly than taking a plane. It creates less traffic on the road and is popular with families. In fact the family popularity was highlighted last year during half term when the ski train tickets for that week in February sold out within 7 minutes of going on sale. For families with children you are less restricted on what you can travel with and of course you can move around the train with young children.
Ski resorts are also keen to get more of us to take the train as they remain in the forefront of the whole climate change issue. Many resorts have reported that if more holiday makers took the train that would dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of the ski resort.