Ok. I read through this thread quickly. I checked the German rail homepage:DB
It looks like the trip is on Euro City trains and not ICEs. Most Euro Cities (although not all) are older trains and therefore more spacious--i.e. GREAT for skiers.
On fridays in January, there are many trains from Munich to St. Anton (over 12 a day), but the one's that will probably be most convenient are the morning trains from Munich East Station to STANTON via Innsbruck. You can either take the S-Bahn from the airport to Munchen Ost or cab it from the airport to the train station. If you take S-Bahn, the trip will take four hours and 49 minutes door to door. There will be one transfer in Innsbruck. Both the Austrian and the German EC trains have restaurants and the Austrian train has a panoramacar--perfect for those mountain views.
My recommendation, for what its worth, is to forget driving and go by train. By the time you rent the vehicle, get your gas and highway vignettes, you'll have wasted more time than the total train trip. Also, traffic can be miserable between Munich and St. Anton--especially if it snows. Finally, after a long flight, you'll sleep for most of the train ride--something you cannot do in a car.
You can check excess luggage at the Luggage Check at the Munich Airport for 2-3 Euros a day depending on the size of your luggage.Munich Airport Luggage Service
Also, forget about train reservations or buying tickets in the US. You rarely need them on slower, more spacious EC trains. Also, tickets purchased locally are about half the price. Your total trip should not be much more than $50 RT, 2d Class. In the ABSOLUTE worst case scenario, you may have to wait for the next train if the one you want to ride is full but if this happens, I will be EXTREMELY surprised.
Also, first class is not worth the money. The biggest difference between first and second class in Europe is beverage service. In first class, a dude comes around with drinks and snacks. In second class, you need to go down to the dining car and consume your food or drink there. This is no problem because you may end up meeting Julie Delpy (see Before Sunrise if you do not get this joke). Seats really are not much bigger in first class unless you get a sleeper compartment for an overnight train. 2d class unreserved gives you more of a chance to move around if you do not like your seat. It will also give you more of an opportunity to chat with local skiers about conditions and terrain. First class is filled with Americans with Eurail passes--2nd class is much cooler.
The newly re-designed St. Anton rail station is extremely convenient to the Galzig tram and many hotels. It rocks. You'll enjoy it and feel like a Euro ski bum. If you are tired getting off the train, splurge and take a cab to your hotel--it won't cost much because the hotels are so close. Also, some hotels will arrange a pick-up right from the train station. If you have a GSM phone, you can arrange a pickup either from the hotel or via a cab while you are traveling--just tell the cab what number train you are arriving on. The St. Anton Web site has listings for local cab companies:St.. Anton
Finally, don't bother with a SportsTube--it's too big for the overhead bins of most trains. A padded Dakine will suit you just fine. It will also serve as a second suitcase.
PS Once you know the number of your train, do a Google search under the number. Inevitably, some trainspotter site will have pictures of the interior and exterior of the trains and describe everything from seat layouts to the food service. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img][ December 25, 2003, 07:12 AM: Message edited by: West Virginia Skier ]