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SNOW TRAIN TO THE ALPS

We’re off to La Plagne on the snow train from London – see how the journey went.

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Kings Cross St Pancras at 9am for a 9.45 train.

A sociable time to set off on holidays, especially for a Londoner making a massive 2-mile schlep to the station.

On the dot departure following just a short queue time for passport checks and bag checks – we’re talking 4 minutes, timed.

And onto the train.


There’s a full video from inside the train at the end of this article so do check it out to see what it is like aboard.

There’s already a holiday buzz and excitement while everyone loads their ski bags onto the train – there’s no excess charge for heavy bags or sports equipment:

#1 Pro on the old list of train travel vs. flying.

First step Kings Cross

First step of the 8 hours to La Plagne. By train to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

In our Standard Premier coach – i.e. 1st class – we were served a brekkie of croissants, bread and jam, coffee and juice.

It was then an unspoken but mass-agreed nap time for coach 7 until an early lunch of sausage and mash or cheesy ‘pasta-potato gratin’ was served an hour or so after leaving Kings X.

A mini-semi continental breakfast

A mini-semi continental breakfast. By train to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

Through Lille and south towards Lyon, whereupon the weather (and scenery) picked up.

That holiday buzz has grown into more of a loud growl – mainly from the bar compartment, which from the off has been packed out.

Getting stronger steadily through to mid-afternoon, the atmosphere is hearty.

Lunch time in the bar carriage

Lunch time in the bar carriage. By train to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

Snow Train

Bar crew and the beer can bind. By train to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

Booze is now banned on the night train, aka the party train, to the Alps.

But not here…

There are a lot of empty beer cans.

Rumour is by late afternoon the bar is running out of beer…

Ski train

Holiday love. By train to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

Five hours on the train and people are stretching their legs.

That’s #2 pro

Tea, coffee & snacks again at 3.15pm.

The bar car is getting more and more fun – everyone is getting in the spirit, British style…

Sat by the doors to the bar cabin each time the doors slide open a tempting smell of beer punches in.

And, the last time in the 3 second opening a booming “C’mon then boys!” made everyone smile.

Map

Getting there. By train to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

Snow Train

Snow Train. By train to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

First sighting of snow on faces approaching Chambery and a beautiful light at this time of evening – 4pm local time.

A brief pause in Albertville then on to Moutiers.

Here we’re stepping off at 6.11pm checking out the new Les3Vallees Cafe and jumping in a transfer up to La Plagne.

The cap’n calls for those travelling to Les Menuires, Val Thorens, Meribel, Courchevel, La Tania and Valmorel to alight.

So, 40 minutes up to the resort, a total of 8 hours 30 minutes, door-to-door.

The same as flying to NYC, without the faff.

But we’re all relaxed, having had the easiest journey ever to the slopes, and ready for an evening in the hotel.

Our destination station

Our destination station. By train to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

The full journey:

FACTBOX

Inghams offers a range of holidays by ski train to several resorts in France.

The benefits of travelling by train include:

  • FREE ski carriage
  • Generous luggage allowance (two bags per person plus hand luggage)
  • Reduced check-in time compared to flying
  • Short transfers to resort
  • Scenic views
  • Convenient, comfortable and stress-free travel

Inghams is offering a seven-night holiday on a half board basis at the four-star Araucaria Hotel & Spa in La Plagne, France, from £949pp based on two sharing in March 2018.

Price includes return train travel from London St Pancras to Moutiers and resort transfers. Lift passes, equipment hire and tuition can be pre-booked through Inghams.

To book, visit the Inghams website or call 01483 791 114

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

 

For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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