Waiting for (Eurostar) Snow 2024-25

Eurostar Snow was an interesting rail option to France, but left a lot to be desired. Here's some things that need to change.

By: Daniel Elkan
Sat, 20 Apr 2024

It would be good to know what Eurostar is thinking about winter 2024-25.

Last season it offered a new service, called Eurostar Snow.

It's poor form to look at gift horse in the mouth, but it may be useful to point out the shortcomings of Eurostar Snow last leason, in the hope and expectation that Eurostar will do better this season.

1. The train wasn't direct
This has to be stated, otherwise for many skiers it's the elephant in the room. Personally, I don't think switching train in Lille is a big deal, but Eurostar did for 16 year offer a direct Ski Train service. So why not continue that?

2. It departed on a Saturday but returned on a Sunday
This was just wierd. True to form, Eurostar decided this with no consultation with the ski industry. And having an extra night in the Alps, while sounding good on paper, causes a problem realistically because if your chalet or apartment is Sat - Sat, you've got to find one extra night's accommodation. Logistically that can be difficult - as for many it proved to be.

3. The season was short, ending on 4th February
Again, without any explanation, Eurostar Snow only ran until 4th February, so basically only for half the season! That's not because they didn't sell tickets, that's how Eurostar planned it from the start. But of course, it never divulged why. Bizarre.

4. There were only 240 seats available
That's not a typo, there were only two hundred and forty seats. The direct Eurostar Ski Train used to have about 700, and it ran twice a week, so effectively 1400 seats. 

5. Eurostar seemingly didn't consult with anyone before launch
This is true to form for Eurostar. The company seems to operate in a bubble in this repect, much to the detriment of the ski offerings that they produce. Eurostar's previous launch calamities include the Eurostar Swiss Service and Eurostar direct-to-Lyon winter services, which had so much potential but were failed by Eurostar's own hubris.

7. The service was only announced on 29th August
Perhaps there were some operational reasons, but this is very late to announce a completely new service for winter. I do hope it's announded earlier this year.

OK, I can't think of anything else particular to moan about.

Come on Eurostar, you can do better than this!