Ski resorts by train

Snowcarbon Journey Planner 2020-21 - ready!

Mon 04 May, 2020


Daniel Elkan

“Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable” – Dwight Eisenhower

I hope everyone is well and coping with these lockdown times. 

At Snowcarbon we are updating and developing the site for the 2020-21 winter season. Coronavirus is of course  a big challenge for the ski and travel industry.

As of today, after several weeks of working on it, the Snowcarbon Journey Planner (SJP) is now ready for the coming winter season, so you can now start using it to plan journeys.  The SJP is a searchable database of some of the best train journeys from the UK to ski resorts in the Alps (and back).

To tell you more about what it does and how it works, I’ve imagined some questions you might like answers to: 

Q:  Why is the SJP useful?
A: It shows recommended rail schedules to the Alps, much further in advance than on rail-company and rail-ticket websites. Incredibly, rail-company and ticket websites only publish timetables once tickets go on sale. Before that, you can’t even look them up in advance. And that’s absurd, as it gives the traveller little time to plan.

Q:  What other ways is the SJP useful?
A: Often, some of the best journey schedules to ski resorts don’t show up on rail-company websites. It’s bonkers, but, unfortunately, it’s true. If skiers rely solely on rail-booking websites, they could unwittingly miss finding out about some great train journeys that they might have wished to make. The SJP helps give you a clearer, more comprehensive picture of what’s possible. 

Q:  If rail-company websites sometimes get it wrong, how does the SJP get it right?
A:  The schedules in the SJP are hand-researched by me, cross-referenced using a number of timetable sources, and entered into the unique SJP database. 

Q:  What time period does the SJP show journeys for? 
Me:  The entire 2020-21 winter season.  

A: Does the SJP show all the possible journeys between London and any given ski resort?
Me: No, it doesn’t, it just shows the journeys I consider the most convenient for each destination. Once tickets are on sale you can look up additional journey options on rail-booking websites.

Q: Once I’ve seen a journey that I like on the SJP, can I book it on the Snowcarbon website?
A: No, you can’t book rail tickets on Snowcarbon. But for every ski resort listed on Snowcarbon, we have created a page of bespoke guidance on how to book tickets.

Q: If the SJP was an animal, what would it be?
A: Now you are being silly.

Q: But you are writing the questions for me to ask you.
A: Hmm, good point.

Q: When do independent rail tickets go on sale?
A:  Normally for the Eurostar Ski Train, sales open mid-July.  For indirect rail journeys, some (to Austria) go on sale over the summer and some (to France, Switzerland and Italy) go on sale in October. You can find this information on the Snowcarbon website, and we’ll keep you informed of key dates in this newsletter.

Q: Do I have any more questions to ask about the SJP?
A: If you do, I’d love to hear them. You can ask just by replying to this email.

Q: If I’d like advice about which resort to choose, or where to stay, or a rail-ski package, can you help?
A:  Yes, by all means do get in touch and we'll be happy to help

Stay well,
Daniel Elkan
Snowcarbon Founder