Eurostar is axing its Ski Train, leaving skiers and snowboarders without the simplest option to get to the slopes in the greenest way possible this winter.
More than 160 ski resort tourist offices, ski tour operators, hotels and chalet companies and ski schools have written to Eurostar — published today as an open letter — asking the company to work with the ski industry to reinstate the hugely popular service.
So far, the Save The Ski Train petition has attracted over 10,500 signatures.
The direct, comfortable Ski Train service, running from London to the French Alps, saves an estimated 2.9 million kg of CO2 per season, compared to the equivalent journeys by air.
Four-time winter Olympian and TV presenter, Chemmy Alcott said: “The cancellation of the Ski Train is a huge blow for everyone who cares about making ski holidays sustainable. We need to get the strongest voice together to persuade Eurostar to get the Ski Train back on track.”
Eurostar has blamed the cancellation on ‘coronavirus and a challenging travel market’ stating that it wants to concentrate on its ‘main routes with the highest demand – namely London to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.’
A spokesperson for Eurostar said: “At this stage we have only confirmed the cancellation of the ski train for the ski season of 2020/2021 and I can assure you we will review this again next year.”
In conjunction with the association for the mountain tourism industry of France, France Montagnes, a new film Save The Ski Train is today released for the campaign.
Daniel Elkan, founder of independent rail-ski guide Snowcarbon, who created the film, says: “The Ski Train is a massively popular, useful service – one of the best ways to reach the Alps from the UK by train. Eurostar needs to meet with the ski industry as soon as possible to discuss ways to get the ski train back on track for winter 2021-22.”
Dominic Winter, Programme Manager at environmental charity Protect Our Winters UK, said: “More winter tourists than ever are keen to change the way they travel to protect the mountains and the planet. Eurostar plays a vital role in enabling people to travel long distances without flying or driving. This is hugely important in fighting the climate emergency.”
Running for the last 23 years, the ski train takes skiers from London and Ashford to the popular Tarentaise region of the French Alps and accessing 16 major ski resorts, including Méribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Val Thorens, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Tignes and Val d’Isère.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Save The Ski Train campaign:
Film – ‘Save The Ski Train’: https://youtu.be/j7yN_etO9-Y
Facebook page: facebook.com/SaveTheSkiTrain
Campaign updates: snowcarbon.co.uk/campaigns/save-the-ski-train
Open letter to Eurostar, and response
Images and graphics:
Snowcarbon is an independent website to help skiers and snowboarders travel to the Alps by train. (snowcarbon.co.uk)
Protect Our Winters UK and Protect Our Winters France are charities driving action on climate change in the outdoor sports community and industry. (protectourwinters.uk & protectourwinters.fr)
Ski Flight Free is a campaign to help skiers find sustainable alternatives to flying. (skiflightfree.org)
SaveOurSnow is an information service on initiatives to fight climate change in ski travel and maintains a directory of melting glaciers worldwide. (saveoursnow.com)