Following an approach from a member, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has clarified the procedure that mountaineers need to follow if they wish to travel with ice tools on Eurostar trains.
Eurostar has a policy of not allowing certain items that could be used as weapons within the cabin baggage carried by passengers. The following section is from the “Prohibited Items” section of their website at www.eurostar.com.
“Any article which is inherently dangerous or which could be used to commit an act of violence or threat will also not be allowed. For example items such as imitation, replica or toy guns, ice axes, household cutlery, camping tools, shriek alarms, hypodermic syringes and butane gas canisters will not be permitted.”
After discussing this reference to ice axes with Eurostar we can now offer the following advice to mountaineers wishing to take their ice tools with them on Eurostar trains either to or from the Continent.
- All ice tools should be packed into a single bag and taken to the Registered Luggage Department (known as Euro Despatch) when checking in for a Eurostar train.
- To ensure that your bag travels on the same train as yourself you should check in your bag of ice tools a minimum of one hour before departure. The more time you allow for checking in your bag the more likely you are to have a smooth transfer. Better to allow two hours rather than one.
- There will be a charge of £15 per bag in each direction for sending an item of baggage by registered luggage. Share a bag with your climbing partner.
- If you wish to speak to Euro Despatch in advance to seek their advice on checking in a bag, or if you have any other queries, their number is 020 7843 7752.
MCofS Membership Development Officer Mike Dales said: “Many mountaineers want to use Eurostar to travel to the Alps and other European destinations, but this clause in Eurostar's policy was causing a great deal of confusion. The response we have had from Eurostar has been very helpful and the MCofS is delighted to be able to pass on this advice to mountaineers. I am sure a great many mountaineers will build in the extra time to their journey and be able to take their ice tools with them when they travel to the mountains of Europe.”