Take the train to and from the chairlift, and avoid being stuck in weekend traffic. The beloved Ski Train, with round-trip service between Denver and Winter Park, is back after seven years, with a new name, new trains and new management.
It’s been especially popular already this season, thanks to winter storms that have made the drive on I-70 both treacherous and time consuming.
Now called Winter Park Express, it’s operated by Amtrak, operating weekends only. Go for the day with a round-trip ticket, or the weekend with two one-way tickets and an overnight hotel reservation, for as little as $39 each way, through Sunday, March 26th.
The Winter Park Express leaves Denver’s Union Station at 7am sharp, and arrives at Winter Park Resort at 9am. The return trip is at 4:30pm, arriving back at the renovated historic station two hours later, without taillights.
Without weekend traffic, and without treacherous road conditions from ice or snow, the drive between Denver and Winter Park is at least that long, plus time to shuttle from a far-out parking lot to the main lift.
The Winter Park Express emerges from the Moffat Tunnel a snowball’s throw from Winter Park’s main Gemini Express chairlift, the only service in the US to arrive so close to a chairlift.
It’s part of the reason that in the first three months of operation, the train has carried around 15,000 skiers and snowboarders to and from Winter Park.
We can’t do the math, since a single vehicle can carry anywhere from one to seven people, but for argument’s sake let’s say the Winter Park Express has taken as many as 5,000 vehicles off the road so far this season, which means a lot of greenhouse gasses are not being produced by the cars which are not driving to the chairlift.
The original Ski Train service ran for s 69 years, from 1940 to 2009, and is often cited as sparking interest in skiing and snowboarding. Over time, however, the train lost popularity to driving, until it went out of business.
Some current local area Amtrak employees who rode the Ski Train in college came up with the idea of bringing it back. They were not the first or the only ones, but they had the inside track (pardon the pun) as Amtrak employees to present it to their bosses, who went full steam ahead (pardon the pun, again).
All aboard the train to the slopes!
Fr more information, and to book your trip, click here.