Rail travel that hits the heights with carbon footprint site

A new website aims to help skiers reduce their carbon footprint by taking the train. Ben Ross talks to Snowcarbon's co-founder, Daniel Elkan


What does Snowcarbon provide for the traveller?


Everything you need to know in terms of getting from the UK to a ski resort by train. If you take the carbon footprint of a typical Alpine ski resort, 73 per cent of it is made up of how people get there. So a train is the most important thing that you and a resort can do in terms of preserving the ski slopes.

You can find out which snow resorts are convenient by train, and you can find out exactly how to get there. You've also got all the connections at the other end. In many cases, ski resorts are not on railway lines, but they've got train stations very nearby. Often the tricky bit isn't finding out the information about how to get to that station, it's just putting it all together. Is there a bus up to the resort? How much will a taxi cost? Does the bus connect to the train?

Other key insider information on Snowcarbon: it provides details on restaurants on board trains. Some of the Swiss and Austrian trains have proper table-service à la carte restaurant carriages, with reasonably priced meals. They are a delight!



How did Snowcarbon come about?

As a journalist, I'd been writing about this subject for four years. I'd write a big feature for a newspaper or a travel magazine, get people excited, and then what would happen was that, if they tried to book the train journey and find out the details themselves, they would get really frustrated because the information isn't there in one place.

It's very easy to run into trouble booking rail tickets, especially online. It's easy to find prices that are more expensive than is available. We give specific guidance on each destination and how to book the lowest fares. The Eurostar direct snow train is bookable well in advance, but other trains are only bookable 90 days beforehand. We've got an email reminder service on the site, and it will remind you of the first date that is available for booking.



What's wrong with flying and buying a carbon offset?

Carbon offsetting isn't a terrible idea, and it's better than nothing, but it's flawed. When you get on that plane, the carbon emissions are doing the damage there and then. Offset schemes invest money into carbon-reducing activities such as planting trees, but the results of those activities don't happen for a delayed time period. The average train CO2 emissions [to a European ski resort] is around 10-12kg per person one way. By plane, it's around 80-110kg one way. So it's around eight to 10 times better in that sense.



What's the most distant ski resort I can get to on Snowcarbon?

Andorra, which is just two trains away. Take the Eurostar to Paris and then an overnight down to a little station called L'Hospitalet, where you arrive at about 7.30am. Half an hour later, you're in the resort – there's a connecting bus that waits for the train.



snowcarbon.co.uk

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?