Posts Tagged ‘Winter Park Express’

Ski Train Tickets Now on Sale

October 2, 2019

Tickets are now on sale for Amtrak’s annual Winter Park Express, which will operate between Denver Union Station and the Winter Park ski resort starting in January.

The two-hour trip follows the route of Amtrak’s California Zephyr and passes through Moffat Tunnel.

Trains leave Denver at 7 a.m. and Winter Park at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between Jan. 10 and March 29, 2020.

Tickets can be purchased at www.amtrak.com/WinterParkExpress.

Fares range from $29 to $59 depending on the date of purchase and the date of travel.

Last year’s ski train got off to a slow start, but gained popularity with some trains selling out.

The typical consist for the 2019 ski train was six Superliner coaches and a Sightseer Lounge selling beverages and snacks.

Winter Park Express Ridership up 7%

April 23, 2019

Ridership of Amtrak’s weekend Winter Park Express was up 7 percent this year as more than 19,200 rode between Denver and the Winter Park ski resort in Colorado.

In a news release, Amtrak attributed the increased patronage to improved onboard services as well as an outstanding ski season that kept skiers coming back.

The 2019 ridership was 8 percent higher than that recorded in the inaugural year of the train in 2017. More than 52,000 people have ridden the train since 2017.

New this year was a lounge car. The train typically uses Superliner equipment idled during the winter travel season.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the carrier expects to begin talks soon about operating the ski train in 2020.

It uses the route of the California Zephyr over former Denver & Rio Grande Western tracks through Moffat Tunnel that are now owned by Union Pacific.

This year the Winter Park Express made 32 roundtrips.

Winter Park Express to Have Lounge Cars

December 21, 2018

Superliner Sightseer lounges featuring food and beverage service will be added to all runs of the Winter Park Express, which begins service on Jan. 4, 2019.

The train will operate between Denver Union Station and Winter Park, Colorado, on the first two Fridays of each month, plus weekends through March 31.

In a news release, Amtrak said the addition of lounge service came in response to customers asking for coffee and other items to  be available for sale on the trip to Winter Park each morning along with snacks and other beverages on the evening return trip.

Tickets for the ski train start at $29 each way and seats are still available for every trip. They can be purchased at Amtrak.com/WinterParkExpress.

Children ages 2-12 ride for half-fare with each ticketed adult. Packages including rail fare and ski lift tickets/lodging can be purchased by calling 800-USA-1GRP for a train/ski package.

Amtrak will host 33 round-trips this season on the route via Moffat Tunnel.

The Winter Park Express is scheduled to depart Denver at 9 a.m. and depart Winter Park at 4:30 p.m. Arrival in Winter Park is expected to be at 9 a.m. and in Denver at 6:40 p.m.

Ski Train to Operate in 2019

September 24, 2018

Amtrak said last week that it will again operate a ski train this winter between Denver and Winter Park, Colorado.

The Winter Park Express will run on Saturdays and Sundays between Jan. 4 and March 31, 2019. The schedule also included trips on the first two Fridays of each month.

The ski train will leave Denver Union Station at 7 a.m. and arrive in Winter Park at 9 a.m.

The return train departs Winter Park at 4:30 p.m. and is due back in Denver at 6:40 p.m.

The Winter Park Express follows a Union Pacific route (nee Denver & Rio Grande Western) via Moffat Tunnel that is also used by Amtrak’s California Zephyr.

Passengers who buy tickets early can obtain them for $29 one way. Those discounted tickets are being sold in limited quantities. Regular fares are $39, $49 and $59.

Lyft Becomes Amtrak Ski Train Sponsor

November 15, 2017

Ride sharing service Lyft has become a sponsor of Amtrak’s Winter Park Express ski train.

In a news release, Amtrak said Lyft is offering new customers an AMTRAKLYFT promo code for $5 off their first four rides.

Lyft will provide a larger vehicle for snow boards and skis as well as drop off and pick up passengers at Denver Union Station. The arrangement begins on Jan. 5.

The seasonal service begins Jan. 5, and operates every Saturday and Sunday through March 25, with additional service on Fridays on Jan. 5, Feb. 2, and March 2.

The train departs Denver at 7 a.m. and arrives at the Winter Park Resort at approximately 9 a.m. The return trip leaves Winter Park at 4:30 p.m., returning to Union Station at 6:40 p.m.

Also as part of the new partnership, three railcars will be wrapped in Lyft’s hot pink design and remain on display at Union Station during the week.

After the Winter Park Express season ends, the wrapped railcars will continue in service on other national Amtrak routes throughout the West and Midwest.

27 Ski Train Pairs to Operate in 2018

August 28, 2017

Amtrak will operate 27 trips of the Winter Park Express ski train next winter.

The service between Denver Union Station and the Winter Park ski resort west of Moffat Tunnel will begin on Jan. 5, 2018 and operate on Saturday and Sunday through March 25. Additional trips will run on Feb. 2 and March 2, both Fridays.

Tickets will cost as low as $29 for some trips. The Friday trips are designed to accommodate group travel.

With a capacity of 500, the ski train discharges and boards passengers at a platform adjacent to Winter Park’s slopeside village.

Visit amtrak.com/winterparkexpress for further information and to buy tickets.

Amtrak, Winter Park Call Ski Train a Success

March 25, 2017

Winter Park, Colorado, officials have been pleased with the public response to the revived Denver ski train this year, noting that more than 18,000 tickets have been sold.

The train, operated by Amtrak, operated between January and the last weekend in March.

“It totally exceeded our expectations,” said Winter Park Resort spokesman Steve Hurlbert. “We’ve established that there’s a demand, and the potential for this is through the roof.”

Officials expect the train to return next year.

Many trips sold out and more than a quarter of the tickets were purchased months before service began.

“It was like selling water in the desert,” said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.

With a capacity of 540 passengers, the train carried a small number of the visitors that Winter Park attracts on a given weekend.

But some say the ski train took about 500 vehicles off Interstate 70 every weekend that it ran.

Although ski trains were a staple of Winter Park since 1940 when development of the resort began, no ski trains operated between 2009 and this year.

Officials cited insurance costs and other obstacles for sidetracking the train.

Winter Park head Gary DeFrange worked for tirelessly to get the service re-established. This included a $3 million investment in a platform and siding to serve the train.

Magliari said Amtrak employee Brad Swartzelter approved DeFrange with a proposal for Amtrak to provide the service.

“Brad and his union know how important this train is,” Magliari said.

The resort and Amtrak officials are exploring additional sponsorship possibilities and plan to add food and beverage service aboard the train next year.

 

Ski Train Adds President’s Day Trip

February 16, 2017

Buoyed by sellouts every weekend since its startup, Amtrak has added an extra Winter Park Express ski train trip for President’s Day (Feb. 20).

coloradoSince starting on Jan. 7, the ski train has carried 15,000 passengers between Denver Union Station and the Winter Park ski resort in Colorado.

The ski train is scheduled to operate through the end of March. Tickets are $39 one way and $59 roundtrip.

Trains operate on Saturdays and Sundays and are a partnership among Amtrak, Winter Park Resort, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Rail Passenger Association.

“The fact that there are 15,000 people who have done this, and we’re half-way through the season — the number is eye-popping,” said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari, noting that five of the first six Saturdays have sold out.

The ski train departs Denver at 7 a.m. and arrives in Winter Park between 8:30 and 9 a.m. It leaves the resort at 4:30 p.m. and arrives back in Denver at 6 p.m. It has a capacity of 500.

Winter Park officials said that the ski train has led to a boost in lodging reservations with many non-skiers using the train to visit the resort.

About 100 of the 500 passengers who arrive on Saturday trains are staying overnight in Winter Park.

Sponsors of the ski train include CenturyLink, Noosa Yoghurt, Clif Bar and Koelbel & Company, a  real estate company.

Ski Train Ticket Sales Have Been Strong

January 28, 2017

News reports indicated that ticket sales for Amtrak’s Colorado ski train remain strong with some trips in February and March expected to sell out.

Amtrak logoThe ski train operates on weekends between Denver and Winter Park.

The Winter Park Express began service on Jan. 7. It had been eight years since a Denver ski train had last operated.

However, the train operated briefly in March 2015 in observance of the 75th anniversary of the Winter Park resort.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told Trains magazine that the train has sold out every Saturday since it began earlier this month.

Magliari said the sell-out crowds this year surprised many at the railroad and Amtrak is looking at how it can improve and tweak the service next year.

In particular, Amtrak is eyeing making it easier for groups to reserve tickets in an entire car.

Weather Knocks Out California Zephyr

January 9, 2017

Adverse weather in California led to multiple cancellations of Amtrak’s California Zephyr last weekend.

amtrak-california-zephyrThe combination of heavy snowfall on Donner Pass and rain at lower elevations knocked out No. 5 on Sunday and Monday.

Trains magazine reported that the train that departed Emeryville on Sunday didn’t make it to Truckee. It was instead combined with westbound No. 6, which left Truckee two hours and lost four more hours before it reached Colfax.

Amtrak canceled the train that was to arrive in Chicago on Tuesday and the westbound train scheduled to depart on Wednesday.

The Zephyr that departed Denver on Monday for Emeryville is likely to only go as far as Reno, Nevada, due to the threat of flooding there.

In another development the first weekend of Winter Park Express service operated without problems.

The ski train operates on Saturdays and Sundays between Denver and Winter Park, Colorado.

The first weekend trips operated with a former F40PH turned cab car (No. 406), eight Superliners and two P42DCs including Phase I heritage unit No. 156.