Switzerland by Train For Your Skiing Holiday

Switzerland by Train For Your Skiing Holiday

Switzerland by Train For Your Skiing Holiday

August 2007

To go on a skiing holiday by train is once again becoming the accepted "norm". But mention it and people immediately think of the French Alps and especially the "Ski Train" to the Tarentaise.

However, a skiing holiday to Switzerland is nearly as easy by using the Eurostar service to Paris, then a quick transfer from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon, followed by the high-speed TGV into the heart of Switzerland.

The Editor tried this in early December and was impressed with the ease and speed. Departing from Ashford International station in Kent at 07.55 hours and arriving at Interlaken in the heart of the Jungfrau Region later that same afternoon - and this included an 80-minute stop-over in Paris and lunch at the Gare de Lyon station.

Travelling by train to Switzerland proved so fast, comfortable and reliable compared to 40 years ago which was the last time the Editor made a similar trip! Firstly, there was the Eurostar train which took just 20 minutes through the Channel Tunnel and less than two hours in total to reach the French capital.
The two-station journey on the Paris (RER Line D) Metro was also easy and once at the Gare de Lyon there was ample time for a two-course meal before boarding the TGV (remembering the "validate" the ticket first!)

Travelling at speed in excess of 200km/h across France via Dijon and then winding through the mountains via the French/Swiss frontier crossing at Vallorbe and onward to Lausanne and Bern was less than 3 hours 20 minutes was swift, silent and little movement from the train. On board refreshments were available throughout.

At Interlaken I was met by the hotel which was just a 5-minute car journey from the station and my hotel bedroom (all rooms face the Jungfrau) gave commanding views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains.

Admittedly I just had one large (but heavy) suitcase with me and I would never entertain travelling with skis by train. Always hire at the resort. But carrying a boot bag would not have presented any real problems. And to know that by leaving the UK at breakfast time I could be in the heart of the Swiss Alps by late afternoon the same day, giving me time for a swim in the Hotel Metropole pool before dinner, has certainly persuaded me the train is well worth considering.

Compared to dragging out to one of the UK airports with a two-hour check-in, possible flight delays, and then getting from say Geneva or Zürich airports to the Jungfrau Region leaves me to say."no contest"

The Age of the Train is BACK - and here to stay!

Rail Europe arranged all the tickets and travel itinerary and the cost of a 2nd class return from the UK to Switzerland compares extremely favourably with air fares.

If you wanted your hotel and ski passes arranged along with your rail tickets, then Jungfrau Tours based in Interlaken can do everything on your behalf as a "package", saving a considerable amount of money.
For more information see Jungfrautours and www.raileurope.co.uk

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