The cancellation of Eurostar’s popular direct service to the French Alps was a huge blow for the thousands of skiers and snowboarders who use it each winter. But today those keen to travel by rail to the slopes can still do so as tickets for indirect services go on sale today, Lucy Aspden reports.

On Thursday evenings, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the ski season skiers can travel direct with Eurostar from London to Paris, before connecting to a high-speed TGV service from the Gare du Lyon to Chambéry, Albertville, Moûtiers, Aime-la-Plagne, Landry or Bourg-St-Maurice. From any of these stations they can travel on to some of Europe’s leading ski resorts. 

For example, the Saturday morning service departs London at 07:52, arriving in Paris at 11:17. From the Gare de Lyon the 11:47 service arrives in Bourg St Maurice at 16:51. From there it’s a seven-minute funicular ride to Arc 1600, with free shuttle bus to the other Les Arcs villages, or a 40-minute taxi would get you to Tignes. Alternatively disembark at Aime-la-Plagne at 16:28 and take a 20-minute bus up to La Plagne. There are numerous resorts in the Alps that are accessible by indirect train, including St Anton in Austria, Sauze d’Oulx in Italy and Courchevel in France.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office is advising against all non-essential travel to the likes of France, Austria and Switzerland. It therefore remains to be seen whether British skiers and snowboarders will return to the Alpine slopes this winter regardless. British holidaymakers looking to travel to much of Europe also currently face quarantine restrictions either on arrival home or when they get to their destination (the case in Switzerland) as cases of coronavirus continue to surge.

Read the full report here.