Roof of St Pancras StationThe roof of St Pancras
The train departed on time, as expected and was quite comfortable.  We booked in November and had managed to secure one of the only two tables available in our coach.  There was one couple that was quite vocal about this fact!  They were very unhappy about not having a table - where were they supposed to put their champagne! Oh dear!

One thing to note if you are taking skis onboard a regular Eurostar service (not the ski train) - there is no separate space to store your luggage.  However, we did find that the ski bags (and even a snowboard bag) will fit quite nicely in the overhead racks.  This had its drawbacks though for your fellow passengers who wer struggling to find luggage space themselves.  

We arrived into Gare du Paris Nord ontime and had about two hours to get across to Gare d'Austerlitz for our next train to Veynes-Devoluy.  The cheapest way across was to use the Paris Metro.

Map of Paris MetroMap of Paris Metro
It didn't turn out to be that bad.  We had a straight run to Austerlitz without having to change trains and arrived with plenty of time to spare.  

We bought single tickets for the journey and wondered afterwards if it would have been cheaper to buy the carnet of tickets?  They were selling them in St Pancras for about £11 for 10 tickets (2009).  Something to look at for future trips perhaps.

Paris Austerlitz was not a large station.  It had one large hall with nowhere to sit.  You had the choice of the floor or your luggage!  At the end where the platforms are, is a large electronic board listing all the trains.  The platforms were not displayed until the trains were ready for boarding which was about 30 minutes before departure.  Once the platform was displayed, there was a mad rush forward, only to find around the corner, out of sight of the main hall, that you were joining a rather long queue!  

We were travelling with Corail Lunea in couchettes overnight to Veynes-Devoluy and our coach was number 12.  I was a little worried that we would have a long walk to reach it but I need not have worried - the first coach on the train was number 9, so ours was only another three coaches further down.  Not sure what happened to coaches 1 - 8 though!

Most of the couchette coaches have 6 berth compartments, but because we had children under 12, we were able to get a 4 berth compartment to ourselves.  Normally a 4 berth compartment is reserved for 1st Class travel, but I believe this whole service was standard class.  

The compartment was very comfortable, you might even say 'cosy' with all of our skis and luggage in as well!  We settled down in our little quilted sleeping bags and were soon leaving Paris.  

Our couchette compartmentOur couchette compartment
I found it quite soothing, listening to the train going along and we were soon fast asleep.  When we woke up next, we would be in the Alps!

Here you can see us in our 4 berth couchette.  The blue and green packet in the bottom left is the thin quilted sleeping bag and pillow that is issued along with a bottle of water and a care box, containing a pair of ear plugs, some tissues, a small bag for rubbish and a 'baby wipe'.