Ski resorts by train

How to find hidden train journeys to ski resorts online

Fri 11 February, 2022


Daniel Elkan

Hello everyone,

Hidden train journeys to the Alps? Yes seriously, there is such a thing!

I’m talking about train journeys that exist — but which don’t show up when you search online using rail-booking websites.

Let me be clear:  these websites (Trainline, Rail Europe, Omio,, Eurosta etc) don’t hide journeys on purpose. It’s just the result of a system that doesn’t always work well.

The problem is that the websites are trying to show you two things simultaneously:

1.    Train-journey schedules
2.    Available train tickets

Because the ticketing system is so complex (different rail companies, different types of tickets, different IT systems) the algorithms that power these searches frequently fail to show certain journeys. This happens for journeys to ski resorts, and for journeys to other destinations in Europe too.

Most travellers don’t even know about this fiasco because the rail industry doesn’t talk about it. Rail-booking website homepages say things like ‘Train booking made easy, etc. but they are not being completely honest about the fact that their search results can be unreliable.

Perhaps, like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, they are worried that ‘You can’t handle the truth!’ But of course you can.

I’ve created a video to show you how to find these hidden rail journeys to ski resorts — and a booking solution. The video might help prevent confusion and mean that you, your friends and family don’t miss out on train journeys to the Alps.

My friend’s dog Cooper, (pictured), loves the snow and was eager to help with the film.  It turned out to be a ruse, so that he could get online: I caught him watching cat videos. I won’t be fooled so easily next time!  

I wish I could persuade train companies to make booking simpler and more reliable. I am trying to do so because thousands of people are missing out.

But every skier who watches this video will at least be helped.  

It reminds me of a story I heard on the radio:

A man is walking along a beach after a storm, and he sees thousands of starfish washed up on the beach.  In the distance, he sees a small boy picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the water. The man approaches and says to the boy: “There must be 100,000 starfish stranded on this beach. What difference can you make?”

The boy picks up another starfish, throws it into the water and says, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

I hope this hidden-journey knowledge helps you with travel planning in the future.

Best wishes,
Daniel Elkan
Snowcarbon Founder