Colorado ski train revived?

17th November 2009, by Chris Gill

The Denver ski train (K Morgan)

The Denver ski train (K Morgan)

The legendary Denver-Winter Park ski train, axed earlier this year, looks likely to return this winter following interest from another rail company.

Back on track?

According to the Colorado-Denver press, Iowa Pacific Holdings – which operates freight and excursion trains in six states – has been negotiating with Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak to operate the train since its sell-off by former owners, Anschutz. In fact, the company is so confident of running the service that it has already started selling tickets.

Subject to final approval by Amtrak, Rio Grande Scenic Railroad will operate the ski train from Denver’s Union Station to Winter Park Resort for 2009/10 – 70 years on from its first journey to the ski area.

The new train will be able to carry more passengers and operate on weekends and public holidays from December until 28 March 2010. Ticket prices are also said to have fallen as a result of the increased capacity – cheaper still if you take advantage of the Early Bird special deals.

The Rio Grande website is currently showing regular fares starting at $44 for a return day trip, with children under 5 years old travelling for free.

End of the railroad?

The original ski train started in 1940, its scenic ride taking passengers through the Moffat Tunnel and up into Winter Park’s developing resort area. The train was popular among day-tripping locals, but also with skiers and riders as a convenient transfer choice. Whether the new train is back for good depends a lot on ticket sales this winter, so the new operators are urging visitors to take the green option and hop on the train to go skiing…

For more details: Rio Grande Scenic Ski Train

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