Ski resorts by train

Are you not sitting comfortably?

Fri 18 January, 2019


Daniel Elkan

Oscar Wilde famously said: 'The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.'

The other day, on a TGV travelling from Paris to Grenoble on a Saturday morning, Wilde's phrase sort of came to mind.  Because as I strolled down the train to the cafe bar, I passed several first-class carriages that were literally empty. Rows and rows of attractive purple and mauve seats, spacious, comfortable, litterally begging to be sat on. In a way, the coaches were full of people not sitting comfortably. And had the people been there, they would have been.

What a waste of space.  What a waste of all those fantastic journeys to the Alps that could have been had.

Whose at fault? Well these days train companies like to use dynamic booking systems to fill their seats.  They are very proud of how these systems respond to demand, like flights do, and adjust the prices.  Algorithms. Computer knows best.  Well, in this case, clearly not.

It's time for rail companies like SNCF to have a think about how they can work with the ski industry - resorts, tour operators etc - to get ski bums onto comfy seats.