Posts Tagged ‘Winter Park ski train’

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.

 

UP Derailment Led to Ski Train Cancellation

March 14, 2017

A Union Pacific derailment resulted in cancellation of the Winter Park Express between Denver and Winter Park, Colorado, last Saturday.

Passengers who had tickets for the March 11 ski train were offered the opportunity to rebook on another ski train, which has two more weekends to operate.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told Trains magazine that about 500 seats had been sold for the trip that was canceled.

The westbound California Zephyr was held for more than four hours at Denver before it was permitted to proceed. It lost another two hours waiting for the tracks to be cleared at the derailment site.

The derailment did not materially affect the eastbound California Zephyr on Saturday. The ski train operated as scheduled on Sunday.

News reports indicate that 10 empty freight cars on a UP train derailed on a curve on the Moffat Subdivision.

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.

Amtrak Ski Train Launches Today

January 7, 2017

Amtrak’s ski train is set to begin its first trips on Saturday, departing from Denver Union Station for Winter Park, Colorado.

Amtrak logoNamed the Winter Park Express, the trains will have Superliner coaches, including three that are clad in an advertising wrapper for train sponsor CenturyLink.

Trips will use the California Zephyr route of the former Denver & Rio Grande Western and pass through Moffat Tunnel. The ski train will run on Saturdays and Sundays through March.

Amtrak said some trips have already sold out and additional equipment has been added to accommodate demand. The ski train last operated out of Denver in 2009.

CenturyLink to Help Sponsor Amtrak Ski Train

December 17, 2016

The ski train between Denver and Winter Park won’t begin running until next month but surging sales have prompted Amtrak to increase its capacity.

Amtrak logoAmtrak said some weekend trips are nearly sold out in advance of the Jan. 7 first run. The train operates between Denver Union Station and the Winter Park ski resort just west of Moffat Tunnel.

The train has also picked up a corporate sponsor, CenturyLink a Louisiana-based telecommunications provider.

Three cars and one locomotive will be wrapped in a CenturyLink wrap to promote the service, which will be known as Amtrak Winter Park Express presented by CenturyLink.

The train will operate on weekends and two holiday Mondays through March 26.