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French strikes and Eurostar overnight ski train

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I can't be the only one of here who's nervously awaiting the resumption of negotiations on Tuesday as we are booked on the overnight ski train on Friday 17th January, given that this service has been cancelled/rescheduled every weekend thus far during the duration of the strikes ?.

It's going to be 'fun' if the overnight service on 17th has to be rescheduled to a daytime departure as that'll mean arriving in Bourg St. Maurice around 21.50 rather than 06.16 the following morning, and the associated cost (and demand for limited availability) for overnight accommodation and a rescheduled transfer to Val D'Isere.

On the one hand there's no point booking accommodation and a transfer now, given the Eurostar might run as scheduled, but I have little faith in the negotiations resolving anything soon.

Out of interest there must be some people on here who were affected by the same cancellations/service rescheduling on 27th/28th Dec or 3rd/4th January ? - if so how bad was that ? (at least mid January isn't peak season !).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
At the moment I am holding off booking French trains for a March trip!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I am booked on same train. Have already booked an hotel room in Moutiers just in case...
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Ive been looking at doing a last minute booking on the day train (sat 18th) - so presume, to date, Saturday departures have been unaffected?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We are on the same train, it's awaiting game at the moment. By the looks of it we won't know what's happening until the day before we leave. So annoying. Let's hope the Christmas spirit is there on Tuesday and things get resolved. As they say don't hold your breath.
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Book a cancellable hotel room?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Interestingly on booking.com rooms in that area appeared to only cancellable up to 14 days before when I booked mine.
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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!
We’re booked on the day train on the 18th too. They seem to announce changes by Weds/Thurs of the same week on the website & app. Looks like most Fri night trains out from UK have been moved to a late lunchtime departure, Sat day trains brought forward a couple of hours & the Sat night back cancelled. We’re coming up Fri pm now & booked into a hotel to cover it being brought forward as travelling from the midlands.
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I used the direct day train to get there and back at Christmas. In fairness to Eurostar they seem to be doing the best they can to get everyone to/from resort despite the strikes. Our outward journey was moved an hour earlier which meant an early start, but on the plus side we got to resort a little earlier too which was handy. The change to the overnight trains as you point out could be much more disruptive. The way back was a little more uncertain, and although the train was nominally running on time it was actually about 90 minutes late. As they had rebooked a lot of overnight passengers on to the day train all the seats were changed and instead of being given an allocated seat you were just allocated to a carriage. In practice is was fine though, and they got us there and back roughly as described, which given the disruption to the rest of the French rail network I was pretty impressed by. Due to the disruption and delays we were compensated around 50% of the cost of the tickets, which again I thought was pretty generous given the circumstances, and I would imagine that would likely cover the cost of an extra night hotel if you need it. You can only apply for this after the journey though.
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Also worth putting in a plug for Snowbound transfers who dealt with us arriving early very smoothly and made sure we weren't sitting in the station for a couple of hours.
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Hi we went out for Xmas & both overnight trains there & back were cancelled. Our out journey was moved to the Sat morning so we had to book a hotel in London rather than the more recent journeys where they’ve brought the Fri train forward meaning an overnight stay the other end. To be honest I can’t praise Eurostar highly enough for their communication & efforts to ensure we got there & back. We have also had approx 75% of our return tickets refunded & we are also able to claim the cost of the hotel back. No airline would offer that!
We were notified of the changes on the Tuesday both weeks by e mail & text message.
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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.
Lots of cancellations today on SNCF due to strikes.
Bourg to chanbery train replaced with a bus. Chambery to Paris train cancelled but SNCF have put me on a later train.
Had to reschedule Paris to London train for 4 hrs later.
A bit of hassle but nothing too much to worry about.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
From Eurostar webpage:

Can I claim for other expenses incurred because of my delay?
We may be able to help with some expenses but your travel insurer should cover you for most things so it’s best to drop them a line first.

We can only consider reimbursing you for the following expenses that were a direct result of your delayed or cancelled train:

Overnight accommodation

Food

Transport between the station and your accommodation

The cost of calling anyone who was waiting for you at your destination

Please note that we can’t cover any other expenses, such as the cost of alternative transport, if you decided not to wait for the next available Eurostar train.

To see if you can claim, Contact us with the following details:

Legible scans or photos of your Eurostar tickets

Legible scans or photos of any relevant, itemised receipts

Your bank details, so we can reimburse you as quickly as possible:

account number and sort code if you live in the UK,

your IBAN and BIC/Swift code if you live in the Eurozone, or

the email address linked to your PayPal account if you live outside of Europe.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I would think that 700 or so skiers needing a hotel room is not going to tax the system in London in January given the colossal amount of rooms within 2 miles of St P.

Just don't swap with a flight to Chambery wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Eurostar's communication could be better. Their current service page acknowledges disruption this week, and lists service changes (i.e. cancellations) "until 12 January". No mention of any changes or uncertainty to the direct ski trains, so anyone reading this today could reasonably interpret it as meaning that they will run as scheduled on 10 and 11 January. But it wouldn't surprise me if tomorrow they announce significant changes to them.

If the provision of other services up to 12 January is uncertain, it would be helpful to customers to say so rather than imply they will run.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ecureuil wrote:
Eurostar's communication could be better. Their current service page acknowledges disruption this week, and lists service changes (i.e. cancellations) "until 12 January". No mention of any changes or uncertainty to the direct ski trains, so anyone reading this today could reasonably interpret it as meaning that they will run as scheduled on 10 and 11 January. But it wouldn't surprise me if tomorrow they announce significant changes to them.

If the provision of other services up to 12 January is uncertain, it would be helpful to customers to say so rather than imply they will run.
Agree - our ski trains were never listed on the disruptions link & I kept getting notifications for our departure times even after the train was cancelled! Best info came from direct messaging them via Twitter. Still much better than the Chambrey saga though!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Looking at the bookings page it appears as though there's no overnight Eurostar ski trains this weekend anyway.

For us if the overnight train on 17th is rescheduled to a daytime departure the hassle will be at the Bourg end, given the need for an additional overnight stay and rearranged transfers to Val D'Isere. Whether Eurostar will pay for that remains to be seen - although we have travel insurance it was only taken out after we'd booked so I can imagine the insurers being 'awkward' about that.

My main concern is getting 'stranded' in Bourg (where most of the hotels are full) if all the taxis and transfer companies are oversubscribed, but at the same time I don't want to shell out now on the costs of a taxi/transfer we might not need (particularly as I've already paid for return bus transfers on the Saturday). Does Bourg station remain open overnight ?.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
They don't seem to list the ski trains on their daily calendar of cancellations due to the strikes. They put details here instead, though not yet updated for next weekend it would seem. I would guess it will be updated today if it follows the same pattern as previous weeks:

https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/service-information/eurostar-travel-updates
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There are still no changes for this weekend shown on either the service disruption page https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/disruption/service-update or at the link kieranm posted above. But if you search for a ticket it shows the direct outbound train this Friday now departing at 12:46, arriving BsM 21:13 (rather than 19:45 - 06:16), and no overnight return train on Saturday. Which is the same as last weekend.

It is quite possible that they have already informed anybody who booked with them directly. But for other groups it can take some time for the message to get from Eurostar to TO to agent to lead booker to all party members. Timely communication via their website is just poor / non-existent Evil or Very Mad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I totally sympathise with everyone in this situation. I am due to travel out by Eurostar then SNCF to Moutiers on 23 January and fingers crossed as in December in the end I had no choice but to book a flight and hire car. I managed to get the train back, but I had to get to Lyon to be able to do it.

Some followers of this thread may know the campaign I started in the autumn - Ski Flight Free (www.skiflightfree.org). Not perfect timing for promoting train travel to the Alps. Sad
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Good news, the strikes are no longer affecting the overnight Eurostar - from their website:

The strike action continues but with a reduced impact on Eurostar routes.
We will therefore deliver our normal timetable from 13 January.

https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/service-information/eurostar-travel-updates
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I’ve just had an e-mail confirming my SNCF train to Annecy on Friday is running. Think most of the trains are back to normal now. Just Paris still a nightmare Mad
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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!
What a relief!
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