All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Luggage on trains

By train you can take the luggage you want, including ski and snowboards, without being charged for the privilege


introduction photo:Daniel Elkan A snowboard on luggage rack

The Eurostar Ski Train you can take, for free, per person, a total of:

  • Two medium size suitcases (85cm maximum length)
  • One pair of skis or snowboard
  • One piece of hand luggage

There is no weight limit on these items of luggage, but do make sure you can still lift your own cases! The Ski Train has a special area in each carriage for large items like skis.

View the Eurostar Ski Train luggage page which says: 'On our direct trains to Bourg-St-Maurice, Lyon, Avignon and Marseille we allocate extra space on board so you can take one pair of skis or one snowboard on board with you in addition to your standard adult luggage allowance. For safety reasons, skis and snowboards have to be kept in a protective case that covers the whole item. On all other trains, they’re included as one of your two pieces of luggage.'

And how much can you bring on ordinary Eurostar trains?

photo:Daniel Elkan Boarding Eurostar to Paris

If you are travelling to the slopes by taking a Eurostar to Paris or Lille, and changing trains there, you can bring, for free, per person, a total of:

  • One medium size suitcase (85cm maximum length)
  • One pair of skis or snowboard (any length)
  • One piece of hand luggage

Or alternatively, for free, per person, a total of:

  • Two medium size suitcases (85cm maximum length)
  • One piece of hand luggage

There is no weight limit on this baggage – as long as you can lift it, you’ll be fine.   Please note that this luggage page on Eurostar's website does not mention skis and snowboards, so it can cause confustion.  Remember that on ordinary Eurostars, skis and snowboards are definitely allowed.

Luggage on: TGV, Couchette sleepers and other trains

luggage on trains photo:Daniel Elkan Luggage on regional train

The nominal limit for trains in Europe is two suitcases, a pair of skis and hand luggage.  But this is never enforced or monitored.  The basic, common-sense rule is:  if you can carry it, you can bring it.
On the TGV there is room for skis on the overhead racks, and large cases at the end of each carriage.

On the couchette sleepers, in a six-berth couchette, you can fit skis and snowboard bags under the lower beds, but if everyone had big cases some of these may have to go in the middle between the beds.  If there are five of you it can be worth renting out the sixth bunk solely to put all the luggage on it.

Is your luggage safe?
In years of travelling to ski resorts by train, and hundreds of journeys on European trains, daytime and overnight, we’ve never known of anything going missing. Of course it is important to keep and eye on your luggage, but in Europe generally theft is very low on trains.

For suggestions and advice on fantastic ski resorts, excellent accommodation and suitable train-travel options, just contact ski writer and Snowcarbon co-founder, Daniel.