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Snowcarbon Takes the Sleeper Train to Austria

Snowcarbon.co.uk is an independent guide to help skiers find ways to travel to ski resorts by train. One option they recommend is the Alpen Express service to Austria, a sleeper train that goes right to the slopes cutting carbon footprints whilst adding two full days to the holiday.

Skiiers from the UK can take either Eurostar to Amsterdam, or Eurostar and a German ICE train to Cologne, then hop on the Alpen Express which serves almost 100 Austrian ski resorts including St Anton, Alpbach, Kitzbühel, Söll, Mayrhofen, Ischgl, Sölden, Westendorf, Kirchberg in Tirol and Zell am See-Kaprun.

The Alpen Express runs outbound on Fridays, reaching Austrian resorts on Saturday morning, in time for a day on the slopes. It travels back overnight the following Saturday evening, giving a second additional full ski day compared to a traditional week’s ski package.

The service runs every week, with the first departure on Friday December 20 2019 and the final inbound journey on Saturday March 14 2020. Passengers can board an 11:04 Eurostar to Amsterdam arriving at 16:11, have a meal and take the Alpen Express at 18:59. Or take the 15:04 Eurostar to Brussels and then an ICE train from the adjacent platform, arriving in Cologne at 20:15 in time to have dinner and catch the Alpen Express at 22:26. They will then arrive in, for example, Kitzbühel at 08:42 or St. Anton at 10:43, where the train stations are right in the centre of the resorts. A 06:00 flight with added winter-sports luggage fees followed by a long road transfer may seem less appealing, by comparison.

The Alpen Express has three types of couchette accommodation: six-berth and five-berth sleeping cars, and luxury private compartments for one to three people. Passengers can bring their own food and drink on board, but snacks, drinks and breakfast are all available on the train. For those travelling to a destination where the nearest stop isn’t in the resort itself, Alpen Express pre-arranges optional transfers by coach, minibus or taxi for an additional fee.

Prices start from €179 on the Alpen Express from Amsterdam and Cologne to Austria, with a place in six-berth sleeping car. Tickets for Eurostar from London to Amsterdam start from £70 return while fares from London to Cologne start from £53 return.

More info at: www.snowcarbon.co.uk


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