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Ski lift co re-launches direct train from London to French Alps Package

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Companies des Alpes launch its own ski train package.
Desperate for UK business perhaps

From their press release:

In line with these strategic orientations, the Compagnie announces it has signed an agreement with Eurostar to relaunch direct rail service from London-Saint Pancras to the Tarentaise Valley, which the Compagnie will finance, for the 2021-2022 ski season.
Operating under the name “Travelski Express,” this door-to-door transportation offer will be made available via Travelski, a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie des Alpes, which will sell it as a dynamic package deal that combines transportation, shuttle service, lodging, and ski passes. Travelski is the exclusive distributor of this service, which is being sold as a package for the British market and for the benefit of the ski resorts operated by the Compagnie. It will be available to clients in the United Kingdom beginning in mid September 2021
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@boredsurfin, that’s most excellent news!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Used similar service from Belgium to BSM - excellent experience. Booking when tickets went live allowed to benefit from EUR 89 return, pay the same for toll roads return alone.
Some years there were some delays on the return leg, circa 1.5h delay overall, so not too bad in the end.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 10-09-21 9:22; edited 1 time in total
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Looking at the CdA website it seems it’s a nighttime outbound, daytime inbound (so only one train on the route rather than two), and possibly a package-only service with travel and accommodation bookings rather than train ticket only. Perhaps not such good news for me after all.
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boredsurfin wrote:
Compagnie des Alpes, which will sell it as a dynamic package deal that combines transportation, shuttle service, lodging, and ski passes.


"combined package" - whenever you hear the world "package/pack" from a French business be sure to get some KYJelly from the pharmacist coz you know it is going to hurt.
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Presume this will be a weekly service? (outbound Friday night, return Sat pm?)

Unlikely to fill the train every trip with "packages", so would expect some last minute deals for travel only.

Unlikely to be of much use to me. Cheap enough rail tickets to London, arriving after 9pm Friday evening, but very pricy to return on Saturday before 9pm.
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rob@rar wrote:
@boredsurfin, that’s most excellent news!

Yep, Not for us Rob, it suggests they are selling the entire package to fill all their new developments I guess - why else would they finance it. Although hopefully they will sell any spare seats...

davidof
Ky - something else with strong anaesthetic properties needed I reckon Toofy Grin

Another press release with some more detail just put out
https://news.compagniedesalpes.com/lancement-de-travelski-express/

Quote:
The Travelski Express will run on the weekends of the 2021-2022 ski season, it will leave London-Saint Pancras on Friday evenings and will serve Moûtiers and Bourg Saint Maurice stations non-stop. Returns will be offered on Saturdays from Bourg Saint Maurice and Moûtiers, non-stop, to London-Saint Pancras.
The "Skiing in France" experience will begin in the heart of London!


No stop at Aime to serve La Plagne - that's an interesting one!
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

davidof
Ky - something else with strong anaesthetic properties needed I reckon

Last time I was on the BSM express, it was an enforced dry train, so you'll just have to bite down on a ski-pole.
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Richard_Sideways wrote:
Quote:

davidof
Ky - something else with strong anaesthetic properties needed I reckon

Last time I was on the BSM express, it was an enforced dry train, so you'll just have to bite down on a ski-pole.


You mean like this?

https://www.whiskipoles.com/
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@ster, Laughing
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@ster, that won't be conspicuous now will it! You get blind drunk, bloke across the carriage just gets blinded!
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boredsurfin, the Eurostar Ski Train did stop at Aime on the way out, but there is no Passport Control at Aime so for return you had to go to Bourg or Moutier.
COMPAGNIE DES ALPES does list La Plagne and Peisey/Vallandry.
Presumbably they will have a bus/taxi service available.
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@Richard_Sideways, I believe that the wearing of helmets and googles would ameliorate any risks to other passengers, they are as important to be worn off-piste as on.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Jonpim, Yes, they would have needed all the security scanning equipment to be able to embark any passengers at Aime.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
it is great news, and am sure a confidence boost for various alpine business owners, whose resorts are served by the direct service.

i know it is not the same, but i used the old T/O party train in the early/mid 90's a few times, i think i am still recovering from the epic hangovers Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin

its a shame though, that there has not been an announcement a lot sooner, along with fare details and if you can book independently of any form of package deal.

I had been thinking of using a train to get to the alps for this xmas, but even though i could book the eurostar train, the sncf side is unavailable to book at the moment.

eventually, I have ended up booking flights, as the prices were starting to slowly creep up.

it does seem crazy, that everyone is being encouraged to use more sustainable forms of transport, but you cannot book well in advance.
though this is not confined to sncf, i have been trying to book a train ticket for early November with GWR for some time now, but am unable to at the moment, will probably end up driving!!!!
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Not sure how well the Friday departure will be received either - great for those within striking distance of London, but if you can't get Friday off work and live a few hours away, it may be a non starter.

Great that there is a train again, will be interesting to see how well it is used.

My parents used the Sat day train several times and loved it
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Quite a few people I know get the TGV to Oulx and Serre Che have a designated bus service to meet the trains, by car it's 40mins and obviously really close to stations in the Milky Way.

Friends were also using it during Covid to get to from UK when flights were limited.

The only issue is getting across Paris from the Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon.

How long is a train journey from Lyon to Oulx?
You should count on average 03h15 of journey to go from Lyon to Oulx by train. Every day, you can take one of the 2 trains which run the trip Lyon - Oulx. What time is the first and last train from Lyon to Oulx?
The first train from Lyon to Oulx leaves at 08h08. The last train Lyon - Oulx leaves the platform at 16h08.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
More details on the new rail service on another forum.

Link here, if that is permitted:

https://www.j2ski.com/ski-chat-forum/posts/list/0/19738/9-facts-need-know-new-travelski-express-ski-train.page;jsessionid=FA36006EE7AE3BD50C2881702F16D983
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One of the tricky things about the Eurostar overnight service was that, arriving in resort at about 07:00, you often couldn't (not surprisingly!) get into your accommodation until after returning from Saturday skiing.

It will be interesting to see if CdA / travelski effectively designate certain accommodation as 'UK train only', with departing guests leaving at say 06:30 for the 09:30 train - to ensure no overlap with arriving guests.
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ecureuil wrote:
One of the tricky things about the Eurostar overnight service was that, arriving in resort at about 07:00, you often couldn't (not surprisingly!) get into your accommodation until after returning from Saturday skiing.

It will be interesting to see if CdA / travelski effectively designate certain accommodation as 'UK train only', with departing guests leaving at say 06:30 for the 09:30 train - to ensure no overlap with arriving guests.


I have used the Snow Train when it ran. have also used other trains. Getting in resort early was never a problem as it was (in my experience at least) always very simple to arrange with the self catering owner or tour operator or chalet owner, to leave luggage in a secure garage or room and then go off for an extra day of skiing until rooms were ready
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So have I. But it isn't the most attractive feature. So if you are managing travel+transfers+accommodation as a package, why wouldn't you try and ensure there is no overlap?.
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@ecureuil, this one is easy to solve, most of the big residences and hotels have a left luggage facility for early and late arrivals and I have also used the train several times with smaller accommodation providers who have been happy to let me leave my luggage in a basement or already cleaned flat before check in is allowed
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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!
@ecureuil, additionally, this kind of service will always have overlap as efficient use of the train will mean that are load of passengers are dropped off Saturday morning, the train cleaned, then the last weeks passengers get on so on Saturday morning you will always have two weeks worth of tourists on resort
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I hope that Eurostar brings the regular ski train back for 2022/23 winter, rather than settling for this charter service. I appreciate that the pandemic has been extremely tough for them and they need to rebuild by focusing on their most popular products, but whenever I used the ski train it always seemed to operate near full capacity, and that was in the quiet weeks of early January or late March.
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rob@rar wrote:
I hope that Eurostar brings the regular ski train back for 2022/23 winter, rather than settling for this charter service. I appreciate that the pandemic has been extremely tough for them and they need to rebuild by focusing on their most popular products, but whenever I used the ski train it always seemed to operate near full capacity, and that was in the quiet weeks of early January or late March.


100% agree with the train being far better but I wonder how much it costs to run for those 2 services each way for only a certain number of weeks a year? We only used off peak and as you say it was always full but how much to run?
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thefatcontroller wrote:
100% agree with the train being far better but I wonder how much it costs to run for those 2 services each way for only a certain number of weeks a year? We only used off peak and as you say it was always full but how much to run?
No idea, but as they’d run that route for many years I assume it was profitable for them. I’d guess it ran at full capacity during peak periods and very high load during off-peak, so if that wasn’t profitable perhaps there’s no way long distance trains can compete with airlines running to nearby destinations?
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Looking at packages on the Travelski website is a touch confusing. Once a package is selected, on the left hand side it says the package includes train, transfers, accommodation, lift pass, but on the right are selectable boxes to add a 'package' including the things that seem to be already included.

Anyway, I'm assuming that's just an artefact of them hurriedly altering their site to accommodate the train packages (and therefore I'm ignoring it). That means one can go to La Plagne for a self-catered holiday including the train, the transfer, accommodation and a lift pass for £540. £240 of that is the lift pass, so you're getting all transport and week's accommodation for £300. Unless I'm missing something that seems pretty bloody good!
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If I pick the ski train as the package type first, then look at available departure dates there are none in December at all. But not sure if this means

- were there none to begin with, but not according to above.

- not yet uploaded, unlikely as other dates are there

or all sold already, looks like it?
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You know it makes sense.
I'm sure there are some teething issues with the website: in some weeks they have ski-train departures 'available' on days other than Friday - which is clearly not right.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Does this now count as the world's longest ski lift?
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ecureuil wrote:
I'm sure there are some teething issues with the website: in some weeks they have ski-train departures 'available' on days other than Friday - which is clearly not right.


Yes, seeing that too. I wonder if it lets you actually book ski-train packages on those off days? Teething trouble then.
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Weathercam wrote:

The only issue is getting across Paris from the Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon.

It's really not that difficult. It normally takes me 25 minutes from platform to platform.
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ster wrote:
If I pick the ski train as the package type first,


Were you able to see a train package? I can't see anything with travel at all. Is it uk.travelski.com ?
Thank!

L
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BaobabPowder wrote:
ster wrote:
If I pick the ski train as the package type first,


Were you able to see a train package? I can't see anything with travel at all. Is it uk.travelski.com ?
Thank!

L


Yup, but the train option seems to have disappeared. Maybe fixing the issues?

Give them a ring perhaps?
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Aha, makes sense. Thanks
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It seems to add around £1000 to a holiday for 2. If you can manage to click on the train option. It’s insane.

I’m trying to work out our options as there’s still limited numbers of Eurostar services. And they don’t stop at ebbsfleet or ashford. Getting back from
Moutiers on a Saturday is impossible as there’s no mid afternoon Eurostar from
Paris to London. So either stay and ski an extra day Saturday and get a train with connections and a couchette to Paris (arrives 7.55 am) or stop off a night in Paris.

Outward trains are easier if you feel happy with a hour transfer time in Paris. I’ve done that before and it’s been fine. It’s returns that are proving hard to figure. Although tbh you can’t book JANUARY at all on French trains so I am using dates in December to get an idea of our choices.

May end up driving for flexiblity but it’s the most £ option as we need stop overs each way.
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No couchette trains to Paris from BSM any more unfortunately.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
HandyHand wrote:
No couchette trains to Paris from BSM any more unfortunately.


No but there is a 2 change option that means you can ski the Saturday and get a train in the evening. It looks to be a possible but does have two short changes. (Platform swaps)
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