Ski resorts by train

Photo train knowledge - episode one.

Sun 05 July, 2020


Daniel Elkan

Over the years, travelling to more than 60 ski resort by train, I’ve tried to document the experience of what these lovely journeys are like. The photos help show the experience and the adventure, different from the stock images provided by train companies themselves, with models that can't stop smiling just a little too much.

I thought that creating a series of blogs around these photos, with commentary, might be a useful way of sharing these experiences and knowledge about what the journeys are like. Hope you find it useful and inspiring. Here’s part #1:

Proper grub on the ICE

Spacious ICE trains, which will speed you very comfortably from Brussels through Germany to Austria, have super restaurant carriages, with a great menu of proper hot and cold dishes, generous portions and reasonably priced - and not a ready meal in sight! This was a delicious spaghetti bolognaise at 300km/h. You don’t have to book a seat in the restaurant, you just turn up. Wonderful.

Find out more about the experience on board the ICE

Fun on the Eurostar

These kids were having a great time on a Eurostar headed for Paris, which is a great connecting point for onward travel to resorts all over the Alps. 

I never fail to be impressed by how much children enjoy travelling by train. What is it about train travel that has a calming effect on kids?  Sure, there's excitement, but somehow it's excitement that appropriate for the journey environment.

What I really love in this photo is the different expressions within the group.

Swiss scenery is top notch

Some years ago, while writing a 'Swiss ski safari by train' article for The Observer,  the scenery got too much.  I was whizzing from picture postcard to picture postcard, running out of superlatives for the winter scenes that we were witnessing beyond the train window.ns 

Trains run very frequently in Switzerland, so I alighted at a small station between Sedrun and Disentis, to take some pics.

Just down from the station I sat by the track where I could photo of a train whizzing past with village and mountains ahead.  With no timetable in my hand or on my phone, I couldn't predict which direction the next train would be coming from.  I kept guessing it wrong, and as time passed the snow melted under my bum and the slush seeped into my salopets.

I couldn't tear myself away though, and in the end got some shot that attempt to capture what you can see when you travel through Switzerland by train in winter.

Find out more about rail travel to Swiss ski resorts

How to change station in Paris by taxi

Combining a Eurostar to Paris with a TGV to the Alps is a great way to travel and there are a huge array of fantastic ski resorts that you can reach this way.

People often talk about the change in Paris being offputting, because they don't want to have to lug their skis or luggage across the Paris Metro.

It surprises me how few people realise that they could cross Paris by taxi.  Not only is there a taxi rank 50 metres from the Eurostar platform. There are also pre-booked taxi services that meet you at the platform.

As you can see in this photo of a driver holding up a sign. We later got in his taxi, because we'd booked him!

Find out more about how to change from Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare de Lyon