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Overnight ski train to Bourg Saint Maurice tips???

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So I’m going skiing in mid January (yay!) and we’ve decided to book onto the overnight Eurostar ski train to Bourg, we will be staying in Arcs 1800. As we will arrive before 7am, I’d like to know if anyone has any tips in terms of storing luggage until we can get into the apartment? Also, any recommendations on where to buy food? I’m guessing it’s quite a lot cheaper down in Bourg rather than the actual resort...! How busy is the ski train outside of peak (it’s not during school holidays or anything). Just curious as we’ve only ever flown or driven so just want to know what to expect and any top tips from the experienced train-goers! Thanks Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I don't know the accommodation in Les Arcs specifically, but when we use the overnight train and stay in Belle Plagne, the accommodation has a luggage room. Reception is usually open when we arrive as it's change over day, but failing that, a call / email ahead of time might help to tell you what's available.

A couple of things to keep in mind on the night train:

- the "pack" (blanket, eye mask etc) you get is only provided on the way out. If you want any of it for coming back, you'll have to keep hold of it throughout your holiday.

- the night train is supposed to be totally alcohol free, which includes anything you may consider buying in resort for drinking when you get home.
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You don't say how you are getting up from BSM to 1800?

Main supermarkets are peripheral to BSM town generally on the road to LA with Intermarché etc located there. We were at 1800 this year and didn't find the food shops in 1800 that much higher cost. A little bit but not night and day.

Couple of good pizza takeaway places at decent cost there too. Food and drink in café facing slopes is marked up compared to just stepping back from there into further shops.

Great skiing there and worth looking for the "get out before pistes are open " deal with the pistuers, one day a week in think.
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There have been several threads on the overnight train in the past. here are a couple

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2020563&highlight=searchable#2020563

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2259244&highlight=bourg#2259244
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@julia6, welcome to snowHeads.

The overnight ski train is great in that you get an extra day's skiing in. I can't answer your questions but can say don't expect to get enough sleep. Avoid booking seats near the toilets or doors or you'll wake up every time someone passes through the carriages. Each time I've done the outbound journey, the carriages have seemed to be half empty so allowing people to take two seats to stretch out and snooze on. Strangely, the return journey has always been much busier.

Unless you've got a fluffy down filled jacket or similar, take a pillow if you can. Honestly, it really does help make the long journey more comfortable.
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http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2707369&highlight=fear+loathing#2707369

Here is what to expect.
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@T Bar, Smile that was the Epic thread I was thinking of.....!

here's one of Richard's from 2018

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3218172&highlight=loathing#3218172
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
T Bar wrote:
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2707369&highlight=fear+loathing#2707369

Here is what to expect.


Hahaha! Brilliant Laughing
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Thanks everyone, some really helpful tips! And yeah, one of the reasons we opted for the overnight train is that we can get more skiing in!
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One more question, is there generally enough space for everyone's luggage? I'll have a suitcase as well as my skis, but I'd imagine that they take that all into account...? I'm also hoping that there aren't any unsavoury characters on board who might nick our things, has that ever been a problem? Confused
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Don't get couchette number 9 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4513394/?ref_=ttep_ep1

If you have Amazon Prime you can watch it for free here...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VF68E88?ref_=imdbref_tt_wbr_piv&tag=amz07b-21
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
julia6 wrote:
So I’m going skiing in mid January (yay!) and we’ve decided to book onto the overnight Eurostar ski train to Bourg, we will be staying in Arcs 1800. As we will arrive before 7am, I’d like to know if anyone has any tips in terms of storing luggage until we can get into the apartment? Also, any recommendations on where to buy food? I’m guessing it’s quite a lot cheaper down in Bourg rather than the actual resort...! How busy is the ski train outside of peak (it’s not during school holidays or anything). Just curious as we’ve only ever flown or driven so just want to know what to expect and any top tips from the experienced train-goers! Thanks Very Happy


There is a Left Luggage facility in Arc 1800, which opened last year (also showers and toilets in the same block). It's in the main bus station where the resort shuttle stops. I've not used it, but I assume it's a few Euros to store your luggage while you ski and wait until your own accommodation is ready.

It is a little bit cheaper to buy food down in Bourg, but it's a pain to get there if you don't have a car as the main supermarkets are a bit of a schlep from the funicular station. If I'm in resort without a car I don't bother heading down the valley for groceries for a week, I just use on elf the mini supermarkets in the resort.

If you plan on using the funicular when you arrive and you want to ski on your first day make sure you buy your lift pass in advance and have it delivered to you in the UK. This will mean you won't have to pay a separate fee to use the funicular to get up to the resort as it is included in a normal ski pass. If you don't have a ski pass you will have to pay to use the funicular (8€ per person, one-way, IIRC).

I've only done the daytime train, but assuming its the same luggage space is a bit of a premium but just about enough room so you don't have to pile up cases in the aisles. In addition to the overhead luggage rack (which is too small for a full size suitcase) the pairs of seats at the end of each carriage are used to store cases and I think skis are directed to a particular part of the train and stored together (although not 100% sure about this as I haven't travelled with skis on the train).
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Quote:

skis are directed to a particular part of the train and stored together (although not 100% sure about this as I haven't travelled with skis on the train


I last traveled on the overnight train to Bourg St Maurice two years ago but this was not the case then. They realise that people going to be carrying a lot of stuff and leave a fair number of seats empty in each carriage for you to store skis and luggage and this is easily sufficient. These are marked so you know that you're not just putting all your stuff on someone's seat who will board at Ashford
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I'll echo what @rob@rar, said about food shopping. I have an apartment in 1600 which has much easier access to the funicular and rarely do food shopping in bourg during the winter even if I have a car with me. The food is a bit more expensive in the local shop than in Bourg and wine is about 4-5 euro a bottle as opposed to 2 or 3 in Bourg. To be honest if I am driving I cannot even be bothered to stock up on the way up the hill, but rely on the local shop

The big problem, however, is that it frequently runs out of stuff in the evening, paticularly fresh vegetables but I have known it run out of meat. So do your shopping early and not leave it to 7pm

Sometimes I do my shopping in the bigger and better stocked shops in Arc1800, stuff the produce in my pockets and ski home. If you see a white haired skier with wine bottles in his pocket and a lettuce sticking out of the top of his jacket heading from 1800 to 1600 it is probably me.

Appendum:
The other big difference in price is croissants. A big box in the Super U in Bourg they cost about 20 cents each; fresh ones in the resort are a euro each.
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johnE wrote:
I have an apartment in 1600 which has much easier access to the funicular and rarely do food shopping in bourg during the winter even if I have a car with me.
I'm the opposite to that; if I have a car I always pop down to Bourg for grocery shopping. Not so much because it's cheap but because they SuperU or Intermarche have a much wider range than the little places in resort. It's very convenient for me to drive from my parking space in our underground garage and normally takes no more than 20 minutes from leaving my place to parking in the supermarket carpark, more convenient than shopping in the local shops in fact. But I wouldn't do that without a car.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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johnE wrote:

Sometimes I do my shopping in the bigger and better stocked shops in Arc1800, stuff the produce in my pockets and ski home. If you see a white haired skier with wine bottles in his pocket and a lettuce sticking out of the top of his jacket heading from 1800 to 1600 it is probably me.

Appendum:
The other big difference in price is croissants. A big box in the Super U in Bourg they cost about 20 cents each; fresh ones in the resort are a euro each.


I'll keep my eyes open for you - nice distinctive description!

Add ordinary baguettes to the list - more than twice the price in resort. rolling eyes
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Quote:

It's very convenient for me to drive from my parking space in our underground garage

Whereas returning to 1600 may result a very long search for somewhere to park never mind the fun of digging it out. Once I've found a space I tend to leave the car there for the duration.
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rob@rar wrote:
I'm the opposite to that; if I have a car I always pop down to Bourg for grocery shopping. Not so much because it's cheap but because they SuperU or Intermarche have a much wider range than the little places in resort. It's very convenient for me to drive from my parking space in our underground garage and normally takes no more than 20 minutes from leaving my place to parking in the supermarket carpark, more convenient than shopping in the local shops in fact. But I wouldn't do that without a car.


Yes, the range in resort is limiting - aimed at those who are there a week at a time but a bit limiting for those who are there longer. I expect I'll get down to Borg more frequently this season now I've sorted out my parking issues.
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johnE wrote:
Whereas returning to 1600 may result a very long search for somewhere to park never mind the fun of digging it out. Once I've found a space I tend to leave the car there for the duration.
That would definitely change my opinion! When we first bought our apartment we didn't bother (actually, couldn't afford) to buy a parking space in our underground garage. But after the first time we used the apartment over Christmas and New Year when parking was a massive PITA we changed our mind and found enough money to buy a parking space as well. Mightily glad we did as not having to dig the car out when it snows and always being guaranteed a parking space in our garage in the very busy weeks is a luxury which rapidly became a necessity for us!
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There is a luggage storage office in Bourg, just outside the station exit, if you are planning spending the morning down there. Nice place for breakfast, a bit of shopping and a chill.
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Something I've used before when organising group travel, make some strong, all same type luggage tags that you can zip-tie to each bag. A really bright colour maybe.
It allows any one of the group to spot any one of the luggage set to avoid missing bags etc being left anywhere. You can just grab all the indicated items with confidence that they belong to your group and spot any strays even if the owner didn't.

Also, put the same type with mobile number inside each bag so if you do lose one then there's a chance that the finder can locate you.
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julia6 wrote:
One more question, is there generally enough space for everyone's luggage? I'll have a suitcase as well as my skis, but I'd imagine that they take that all into account...? I'm also hoping that there aren't any unsavoury characters on board who might nick our things, has that ever been a problem? Confused

As others have said, there is usually enough luggage space; the only time I have had a problem is when people near the end of one carriage decide to put their luggage into the next carriage along rather than the allocated space at the end of their own. Then you can end up trying to fit in an extra half carriage worth of luggage - and it doesn't always work, particularly if you are in the end carriage!

There isn't much opportunity for anyone to nick bags. More likely is that someone accidently takes the wrong piece of luggage. After pick-up at Ashford, the doors will only open at Moutiers and Aime (La Plagne) prior to Bourg. If you are concerned, just check that your luggage is still on board at those two stops - but it can be a bit chaotic if a lot of people from your carriage want to get off in the limited time available. You won't have the same problem - there is plenty of time to get off/on at Bourg.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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The space in the overhead luggage racks can on busy trains be at a bit of a premium, I've witnessed arguments when people have got on the train at Ashford and there was very little space left for them. The overhead racks are like those on normal trains, only meant for small rucksacks and other small items. Aside from that no other issues with luggage.
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Overnight ski train to Bourg Saint Maurice tips???

Don't do it!!!

It is worse than purgatory. You will need therapy for years afterwards.
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wills_h wrote:
The space in the overhead luggage racks can on busy trains be at a bit of a premium, I've witnessed arguments when people have got on the train at Ashford and there was very little space left for them. The overhead racks are like those on normal trains, only meant for small rucksacks and other small items. Aside from that no other issues with luggage.


Hmm I’ll be getting on at Ashford so I hope it won’t be too busy! Although if it’s not during school holidays it shouldn’t be hectic.. (wishful thinking maybe!!)
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Jonpim wrote:
Overnight ski train to Bourg Saint Maurice tips???

Don't do it!!!

It is worse than purgatory. You will need therapy for years afterwards.


Too late I’m afraid... already booked! Wish me luck!
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@julia6, I did it last year - never again. Flew back. Hardly slept and stopped skiing at lunchtime as I was shattered- having said that I know others who wouldn’t travel any other way - some travel in Business Premier though which is slightly better I’m told.
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RUGBY PETER wrote:
@julia6, I did it last year - never again. Flew back. Hardly slept and stopped skiing at lunchtime as I was shattered- having said that I know others who wouldn’t travel any other way - some travel in Business Premier though which is slightly better I’m told.


I’m not expecting to get a huge amount of sleep to be honest... but I’m on a budget so needs must!! I’ve done a 24 hour coach journey to the alps before with a load of students and that was hell, but I survived, so hopefully I can manage the train! I’m quite resilient!
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julia6, if you are like my dad, you will be fine. He was in navy. He could sleep anywhere anytime.
Unfortunately he didn't pass on the skill.
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I'd imagine it's quite a lot less hellish these days, no alcohol = less annoying people. I don't recall there being a business premier option on the overnight train. There is a standard premier option which gives you dinner, breakfast and a seat which reclines slightly.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I've done it 3 times. The first time I was in standard when you could drink alcohol. It was a nightmare on the way over as a group of lads in our carriage got themselves completely drunk and I was sat next to one of them. I was worried he was going to be sick at any moment!

The 2 other times I went standard premier and it was a lot better as I had a a single chair with plenty of room, worth the upgrade but again getting much sleep is an issue, 2 of the first Saturdays skiing I ended up back in my room sleeping by lunchtime, the first was because the conditions had turned awful due to rain and the latest one was due to visibility being bad due to heavy snow and high winds shut many of the lifts. The middle trip had a perfect first Saturday! It is the last Saturday that's the most enjoyed in my experience.

It is very much a marmite experience.
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Did it last year. Tbh even with the alcohol ban we had pissed people talking to us. They smuggled in booze in shampoo bottles and would not go away. I think my husband nearly punched him. That was the way out. On the way back we moved seats 3 times to avoid braying nobs and nearly wanted to kill them. But both times we got double seats.
I wouldn’t do it again as I am a shocker with no sleep
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Lucywuk wrote:
Did it last year. Tbh even with the alcohol ban we had pissed people talking to us. They smuggled in booze in shampoo bottles and would not go away. I think my husband nearly punched him. That was the way out. On the way back we moved seats 3 times to avoid braying nobs and nearly wanted to kill them. But both times we got double seats.
I wouldn’t do it again as I am a shocker with no sleep


Thanks for your response, that sounds awful! I think from reading responses on this thread as well as others, it seems like it really is luck of the draw. Some people say their experience was fairly calm and quiet (albeit not getting much sleep), whilst others say it was dreadful and to avoid like the plague! I’m going in January, and once I’ve been I will let everyone know on here how it went, hopefully I’ll have positive feedback!
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Each to their own. I've taken the train (Eurostar to Paris, TGV to Moutier/Bourg) plenty of times and it's always worked well. Personally I find the gentle rocking of the train gets me to sleep and then you wake up in the am in the Alps. I guess you need to be lucky with who else is in your couchette though.
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iainm wrote:
Each to their own. I've taken the train (Eurostar to Paris, TGV to Moutier/Bourg) plenty of times and it's always worked well. Personally I find the gentle rocking of the train gets me to sleep and then you wake up in the am in the Alps. I guess you need to be lucky with who else is in your couchette though.


Not sure they do these Couchettes any more, so you cant do an overnight from paris as you used to
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It’s still possible to Montgenevre, and Serre Chevalier via Briancon and several smaller resorts, including Superdevoluy, via Gap:

https://www.seat61.com/lunea.htm

https://www.snowcarbon.co.uk/blog/paris-briancon-sleeper-train-2018-update
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My favourite "overnight" train to the Alps is to take a late Eurostar to Paris, then inexpensive hotel near Gare de Lyon, and the first TGV to the resort early the next morning. Proper night sleep in a bed, still in resort around lunchtime, no worrying about making connections if one of the trains is late, and cheaper trains as travelling at off-peak times which means it's about the same cost as a standard journey even factoring in the hotel.
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