Ski resorts by train

Shared station-to-resort transfers begins

Sun 19 January, 2020


Daniel Elkan

It seems a bit bonkers, and it is.

The daytime Eurostar Ski Train comes all the way from the UK to the Tarentaise region of the French Alps, with 900 excited skiers on it.

But when the train arrives, the last buses from Moutiers, Aime la Plagne and Bourg St Maurice train stations to the surrounding ski resorts have already departed.

This happens every week of the season — except on the 8th, 15th and 22nd February when there are additional, later bus services.

What we found
When we researched the bus connections from Moutiers, Aime and Bourg, we were surprised at how often a train would arrive or depart without having any bus service co-ordinated with it. This is the case with the overnight Eurostar Ski Train and quite a few of the TGV services from Paris or Lille.

You can see the results of our research here, in these articles on the Snowcarbon blog:

So for many journeys, it means the only convenient option for skiers is a taxi.  

Now, if there’s a group of you that can fill a taxi, that’s not so bad.   But what if there’s just one, or two, or three of you?   A near-empty taxi ends up quite expensive per person — and it’s also a waste of resources from an environmental point of view.

Shared taxis
Clearly, we need buses that are timed to better serve arriving and departing trains.  This happens at other train stations in the Alps, so why not in the Tarentaise?
But what is also needed is the ability for skiers who are travelling alone or in a couple or a three, to be able to share a taxi, thereby saving money and reducing pollution and emissions. 

Ideally, there would be a shared transfer that you can simply book, for a fixed price. However, that doesn’t exist yet.  No taxi company has offered it.  So we need to try to help start something to make this happen.

Matching people up
What we are softly launching today is a kind of matchmaking service, where you can let Snowcarbon know what train you are arriving on, and once we have several people arriving or departing on the same train on the same date, we’ll put everyone in touch, so that you can book a taxi together.

Of course, this is a fledgeling scheme and we can’t promise results.  But it could turn into something really beautiful, with skiers saving money, reducing emissions and even finding some new ski buddies for the week too.

Better bus connections for next season?
Meanwhile, we are going to talk to our friends at resort tourist offices and regions, and the bus and train companies and find out why on earth the buses aren’t serving the trains better, with a view to improved connections for the 2020-21 season.

How to register for the shared transfers
1.    Visit our new shared transfers section
2.    Register your journey
3.    If we find matching skiers, we’ll put you in touch.

We hope this service proves useful and can lead to something great.