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For independent travel to the Alps, which costs more: plane or train? Train travel is certainly more comfortable, relaxing and environmentally friendly, but is often assumed to be far more expensive than flying.

train in snow

However, new research by independent rail-ski website Snowcarbon reveals that in many cases the opposite is true – with train travel giving significant savings over flying.

‘Skiers often tell us that they would prefer to travel to the Alps by train, but imagine that it costs far more than flying,’ says Snowcarbon founder, Daniel Elkan. ‘This research provides a useful snapshot-comparison of the costs and is quite an eye-opener.

‘Unfortunately, the myth that it’s always cheaper to fly, combined with an over-complicated rail-ticket system, results in thousands of skiers flying in the mistaken belief that they are saving money.

‘The reality is that skiers frequently end up unwittingly paying extra for a big dose of airport tedium – when in fact they could be pocketing savings and sitting in comfort on the train.’
The research compares return fares from London to six ski resorts in different ski areas of the French Alps for each week between 19 December 2015 and 2 April 2016. Three journey options were compared:

•    EasyJet flight + shared taxi transfer
•    Daytime travel on the direct Eurostar Ski Train + private taxi
•    Daytime travel on the new direct Eurostar service to Lyon + local train + private taxi.


Compare the prices:

A family of four (two adults plus two children aged 4-11) travelling to La Plagne, France at Easter 2016
Easyjet from Gatwick: £1,956  
Eurostar Ski Train: £1,132
Eurostar via Lyon: £756
A group of four friends travelling to Meribel on 9 January, two with skis and two without:
Easyjet from Gatwick: £972
Eurostar Ski train: £788
Eurostar via Lyon: £644

The full research can be seen at

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