The Snow Train will not run this winter due to "economic uncertainty" says Rail Europe.

The service, which was in its 20th year, had been growing in popularity each winter - the overnight train to Tignes, Val Thorens, and Les Menuires was particularly popular. This year, however, Rail Europe said the poor exchange rate meant that running the train posed too high a financial risk, since it has to buy London-Paris tickets from Eurostar in advance.

There are, however, a number of other options for those wanting to travel to the mountain by train this winter, including the Eurostar Direct Ski Service and the Eurostar plus SNCF services.

The Eurostar Direct Ski Service offers an overnight and a daytime option, from £149 return, running directly from London or Ashford to Moutiers, Aime la Plagne, and Bourg St Maurice. Daytime services run on Saturdays while the overnight service departs on Friday evenings to arrive in the Alps on Saturday morning, then departs for the return journey on the following Saturday evening, allowing passengers to arrive back in the UK early on Sunday morning.

Eurostar plus SNCF offer an enhanced service throughout the winter months, with increased day services and direct overnight trains running throughout the week to destinations including Chambery, St Gervais les Bains, and Bourg St Maurice from where easy connections can be made into numerous ski resorts. Passengers travel on Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, then transfer to Gare de Lyon for a day train, or Gare Austerlitz for an overnight train to the Alps. Fare cost from £124 return per person from London to Bourg St Maurice.

A very useful source for finding out about train travel to the Alps is www.snowcarbon.co.uk. Snowcarbon is an independent Web site that tells skiers which ski resorts are easiest to reach and how to book the lowest fares. They also show you how taking the train can cut your carbon emissions by up to 90 percent.

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