With all the (justified) attention around the new ‘Travelski Express’ service, it’s easy to forget that there are still French ski resorts that are served by a ‘proper’ overnight train that offers couchettes, rather than just seats.
Long-time train travellers will recall the days when there was a wide choice of overnight sleeper trains from Paris around the ‘Hexagone’.
Only two night services remain: Paris-Rodez and Paris-Briancon. It’s the latter of these that interests us as Briancon is the gateway to the French ski resort of Serre Chevalier [Incidentally, a ski resort that is going plenty of work on sustainability]
Briancon links directly to Serre Chevalier
The Prorel gondola links directly from Briancon to the Serre Chevalier ski area but is just a 10-minute drive to the villages that serve the area directly.
It’s also just a short drive to other resorts such as Montgenevre (20 mins), Puy-St-Vincent (30 mins) or Risoul (40 mins).
Overnight from Paris: wake up to the snow
The train leaves Paris Austerlitz (an easy transfer by Metro from Gare du Nord) at 20:52 arriving into Briancon at 08:24, meaning with a bit of organisation you could be ready and waiting for the first lift!
Couchettes are triple bunks in second class and every traveller is provided with a water bottle, ear plugs, tissues, wipes and an eyemask.
Prices from €69 each way
Prices are excellent, available from €69 each way in a second class seat or €99 in a couchette. Women-only couchettes are available at no additional cost.
Currently tickets are available on sale to January 2022 at the Oui SNCF website. You can sign up to an email alert for when more departures are released.