We travelled from Lancaster (NW England) to Engelberg in Switzerland. We have made this trip three times now over the past three years and have got it really sussed.
Our party was two adults and one child (9 year old boy) and we travel with one pair of skis and boots and hire the rest at the resort.
There are two main ways of getting to Switzerland. London -> Paris (change stations!) -> Basel/Zurich or London -> Brussels (change platform) -> Koln (change platform) -> Basel. The Paris route is quicker and more direct, but involves a change of stations at Paris. This year we took the Brussels route both ways, its cheaper and easier with lots of luggage. It’s still possible to get from Lancaster to Basel via Brussels in a day. The problems for us getting cheap tickets is the Lancaster London leg since we have to travel first thing Friday i.e. prime time! However, if booked well in advance we can do the return trip for about £400 for the three of us.
Travelling from Brussels to Basel via Koln is easy and the German trains have free WiFi in standard class. Our child had no problems with the journey. Look for the Deutsche Bahn ‘spar preis’ tickets sine they offer exceptional value.
From Basel you can access lots of areas in Switzerland. We travel to Engelberg in central Switzerland since we have friends there. Its a nice resort and easy to access by train, about 2 hours from Basel. Swiss trains are great and skier friendly (they have lots of space and most have racks for storing skis!) Prices in Engelberg are ok by Swiss standards and its nice to be a resort that is not popular with Brits! The ski school is good and the runs good for beginners. There are lots of runs for good skiers but less for intermediate, lots of the runs are steepish and narrow.
Overall, over the last 3 years we have had a great experience skiing by train and it's definitely family friendly.
James, Jessica and Erik