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For a lot of people, the default way to get from London to the French Alps to go skiing is to fly, then take a long bus connection to get to the resort. However, with the current snow and wintery conditions, a lot of this option has tended to leave you stuck in a London airport, and not on the slopes after all....

As an alternative, is it possible to take the train from London? If direct is possible that'd be best, but otherwise minimal changes - lots of changes aren't fun when you've got skis and lots of luggage full of bulky warm clothes!

(Note - I already know the answer to this one, but everyone else in our Chalet were stunned to learn it could be done and that we had, so clearly there's a lot of people who don't realise it!)

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There's a button which should allow you to ask and answer a question at the same time, so there shouldn't be a need for the "give me a minute to type" comment. –  TRiG Jan 23 '13 at 14:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes, it can be done quite easily! Seat61 has a great guide to doing so, which is well worth a read!

On weekends during the winter, there are two direct Eurostar services between London and Moutiers, Aime & Bourg St Maurice. There are daytime trains both ways on Saturdays, or an overnight one out on Friday nights, back on Saturday night (but it doesn't have beds, just seats). A large number of the popular resorts are just a short transfer away from these stations (tens of minutes, not several hours!)

Another option is to take the Eurostar to Paris, then either a daytime TGV to the alps, or an overnight sleeper (with couchette beds!). This does involve a cross-Paris transfer though, which might be an issue depending on luggage - it's a single metro ride with a few flights of stairs to cross Paris. Alternately, for the Swiss alps, and some bits of France (eg Chamonix), you can take a Eurostar then Lyria TGV, with a cross-platform change in Lille.

These services are generally unaffected by the weather - in January 2013 when there was a lot of snow in the UK and northern France, lots of flights were cancelled, but the daytime Eurostar was only a few minutes late into Bourg!

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In my opinion, the night-time accomodation offered on the French Lunéa service doesn't really deserve the qualification bed, although you can lie flat on your back on a soft surface and get some bed linen, it's rather a couchette (night trains in countries like Sweden and Germany offer more expensive, more luxurious options with proper beds; of course that's not an option here, just don't want that people expect hotel-style beds because they'll be disappointed). –  gerrit Jan 22 '13 at 22:33
    
After a hard day on the slopes, I rarely find sleeping on a couchette an issue! It can be more of one on the way out, before you're really tired –  Gagravarr Jan 24 '13 at 15:46
    
What?! How does that work - no change in Paris? Does it go via Lille (past CDG)?? It looks like they are planning a straight run to geneve also (no change in Paris) –  Joe Blow Sep 18 at 16:24
    
@JoeBlow The Swiss services are Eurostar London to Lille, then TGV Lyria from Lille via CDG and the LGV Interconnexion to avoid Paris –  Gagravarr Sep 18 at 17:12
    
Ah -- but you don't have to change trains? (At Lille or elsewhere?) It's teh same physical train from london to the alps?? Fascinating ... –  Joe Blow Sep 18 at 17:41

We have a guide on my site Loco2 which might also be useful: http://loco2.com/blog/2012/10/ski-trains-london-to-france-alps

Also, I recommend checking out http://www.snowcarbon.co.uk which is also packed full of information.

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hey @Jamie! great site. do you know how the train does that? I tried to dig up a map of the route but could not. –  Joe Blow Sep 18 at 16:24
    
Which specific train are you looking for? This page should help loco2.com/ski-trains –  Jamie Sep 23 at 19:31

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