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
News
people
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine