Skiers will travel by Eurostar to Paris and then take a City Night Line sleeper train to Wörgl station, from where it is a short taxi ride up to the resorts.
The packages, offered by ski tour operators such as Skiline, include rail travel at preferential rates, in a joint venture between tour operators and Deutsche Bahn, arranged by ski-rail website snowcarbon.co.uk.
The new rail packages will benefit families in particular: children under 15, if accompanied by a parent or grandparent, will pay only 20€ each way on the City Night Line, plus their Eurostar fare.
Daniel Elkan, co-founder of snowcarbon, says, “Few skiers realise that Austria can be reached easily by overnight train. The City Night Line isn’t a traditional “ski train” – there’s no disco carriage – but it’s fun, kind of romantic, and comfortable. Travelling to the slopes by train creates a fraction of the pollution of flying or driving, and when you arrive at Wörgl station the next morning, you are minutes from the slopes.”
“Not only is the train a quality journey,” says Angus Kinloch, Managing Director of Skiline. “It actually is very competitively priced against flying, especially for families with children. However you travel to the Alps, it always takes a while to get there, so how you do it is very important. We’re really pleased to be able to help make the holiday begin when you step on the train, instead of when you reach resort.”
The change of station from Paris-Nord, where the Eurostar arrives, to Paris-Est, from where the City Night Line departs, is a ten minute walk or seven minute taxi ride. Although there is a taxi-rank at Paris-Nord (15€ for a four-person vehicle), Skiline can include a pre-booked taxi pick up from the end of the Eurostar platform (60€ for an eight-seater vehicle, from British transfer company Paris City Line).
Holger Gassler, Tirol Tourist Board, says, “It’s great that more people are weighing up their options and considering travelling to Austria by train. The two ‘extra’ days skiing on arrival Saturday and departure Saturday are often the best days, as traditionally this is resort changeover day so the slopes are quieter”.
Depart: London St. Pancras 15.31 (Eurostar)
Arrive Paris-Nord: 18.47 (Change stations)
Depart Paris-Est: 20.20 (City Night Line)
Arrive: Woergl 09.41
Then take a taxi:
Woergl to Alpbach (30 mins)
Woergl to Soll (15 mins)
Woergl to Hopfgarten (15 mins)
Depart: Woergl 20.48 (City Night Line)
Arrive: Paris-Est 09.23 (Change stations)
Depart: Paris-Nord 11.13 (Eurostar)
Arrive: London St. Pancras* 12.28
SöllPart of the Ski Welt, Austria’s largest connected ski area, the resort of Söll has access to over 279km of varied and interesting slopes. Located between the majestic Wilder Kaiser mountains and the Kitzbüheler Alps, the pretty resort offers great value for money, is a popular choice for Brits, with a lively après-ski scene and has top winter-wonderland activities for all to enjoy.
Sample rail package: Seven nights’ stay at the self-catering Schindlhaus Apartments, just two minutes walk from the centre of Söll, starts from £685 per adult and £485 per child (children must be under 15 years of age), for the February half term week, departing on Friday 10th February 2012. Price includes Eurostar, City Night Line and taxi transfers. (March prices start from £589 per adult)
Hopfgarten-Kelchsau-ItterSituated at the foot of the Hohe Salve, the resort of Hopfgarten is located in the heart of the Ski Welt, and is Söll’s quieter neighbour, boasting a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and traditional Tirolean charm.
Sample rail package: Seven nights’ stay at the Apartments Brixental, close to the lifts in the centre of Hopfgarten starts from £609 per adult and £409 per child (children must be under 15 years of age), for the February half term week, departing on Friday 10th February 2012. Price includes Eurostar, City Night Line and taxi transfers. (March prices start from £589 per adult)
AlpbachHighly regarded as one of Austria’s most picturesque villages, the charming village of Alpbach is a true winter wonderland and a top choice for families, beginners and intermediates. A wide range of non-ski activities are on offer too, from snowshoeing to sleigh rides and tobogganing.
Sample rail package: Seven nights’ stay at the Apartment Erlenhof Apartments in Alpbach starts from £599 per adult and £349 per child (children must be under 15 years of age), for the February half term week, departing on Friday 10th February 2012. The apartments have a maximum occupancy of 8 persons so ideal if two families want to ski together. Price includes Eurostar, City Night Line and taxi transfers. (March prices start from £519 per adult).
Information and booking:
Visit www.snowcarbon.co.uk for details of these and other rail-inclusive packages, and information on how to travel to ski resorts by train.
To book these packages directly with Skiline: call 020 8313 3999 or visit www.skiline.co.uk
For more information on the Tirol region – www.visittirol.co.uk
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