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Snow better way to travel

Snow better way to travel

Taking the train to your ski holiday destination this year will probably involve far fewer carbon emissions and is more relaxing than dealing with check-ins at the airport. And for those who would argue that trains are slower, just watch the video on snowcarbon’s website and you’ll see a race worthy of Top Gear taking place.

Departing from London at the same time, ski journalists Neil English (flight from Gatwick to Geneva, followed by a minibus) and Daniel Elkan (Eurostar to Paris, TGV to Moutiers and a taxi to Meribel) battle it out, with the winner the first to be sipping champagne in the hot tub of Fish & Pips chalet at Meribel ski resort in the huge Three Valleys ski area in France. And guess what – the train wins!

“There are plenty of ski resorts in the Alps that you can reach as quickly by train as you can by plane if you live near London,” says snowcarbon’s co-founder, Daniel Elkan. “The conventional wisdom says that flying is much quicker, but measured door-to-door that is a complete myth.”

While there is also a direct ski train from London to the Three Valleys, the slightly longer, indirect (via Paris) route was chosen deliberately because equivalent journeys can be made to resorts all over the Alps.  “Only one region of France has the direct Ski Train from London but many other ski regions are accessible by Eurostar + TGV just as quickly, so this race has relevance to many regions and resorts,” says Elkan. “And these journeys are comfortable, easy and fun.”

To Train or to Fly

Founded in 2009 by Daniel Elkan and Mark Hodson, snowcarbon is an independent website dedicated to helping skiers and snowboarders make enjoyable, low-carbon journeys. All the travel information on the website has been thoroughly researched and there are even photos of all the trains and stations so you can get an idea of what to expect.


The site’s new Journey Planner, which launched in April 2012, is a unique database of hand-researched journeys, showing the best options for getting to each resort on any given date during the season. With over 32 resorts featured in France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Andorra, there are lots of interesting options, including La Rosiere, a family favourite resort situated at 1850 metres, near the Italian border. A sample rail package with snowcarbon involving a 7-night stay at the  4* luxury Cimes Blanches starts at £513 per person and includes daytime travel by Eurostar Ski Train and transfers.