Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby electricron » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:24 pm

David Benton wrote:Heartland flyer ?

Yes, the Heartland Flyer was the last Superliner train to initiate service that continues to run, June 1999.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:25 am

Hiccup: DenverPost

Winter Park Express canceled Saturday because of freight train derailment

Excited snowboarders and skiers got some bad news Saturday morning.

Amtrak’s morning train to Winter Park Resort was canceled after a freight train derailed along the route, Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert said. There will not be a train from Winter Park to Denver Saturday evening as its currently stuck in Denver.

Tolbert said the Winter Park Express should be running again tomorrow.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby gokeefe » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:35 pm

This is literally the only negative headline I've ever seen about this service. Nothing short of amazing.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:17 am

Successful season: Skift.com

I'd be curious to know what the financial numbers will be; certainly, ridership metrics were good.

Fair-use SNIPS:

Amtrak’s Revived Colorado Ski Train Was a Success With Tourists This Year

The nation’s only airport-to-ski slope train connection was a hit with tourists this season and is going to keep running from Denver to Winter Park Resort for the foreseeable future.

Amtrak and the ski resort announced end-of-season ridership totals Wednesday. About 18,000 people rode the train from Denver 60 miles west through the Rockies, across the Continental Divide, and to the base of a ski resort at about 9,000 feet above sea level.
...
The so-called “ski train” ran on weekends from 1947 until 2009, when insurance woes closed it. The weekend Winter Park train was resumed this season after Denver completed work on a train line from its airport. The final trips for the season will be made this weekend.

Amtrak and Winter Park executives are meeting in Denver this week to talk about possibly expanding the service, which currently runs Saturdays and Sundays in January, February and March. The train formerly offered coffees and alcoholic beverages; some riders this season bemoaned the missing beverage service. There is also talk of Friday service.
...
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:54 pm

The ski conditions are still excellent and could warrant the continuation of this train, but Amtrak needs to get this equipment back on its own trains. Too bad there is such a shortage of equipment.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:03 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:Successful season: Skift.com

I'd be curious to know what the financial numbers will be; certainly, ridership metrics were good....

The key financial numbers will be the money the riders left in Winter Park, and we're not likely to be told that; but it's good that the management is pleased enough to continue the operation.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby bdawe » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:09 pm

the Winter Park Express was mostly using slack-season superliner equipment, right?
B. Dawe's map of routes and urban populations https://brendandawe.carto.com/viz/80b9d ... /embed_map NOW updated with 2016 Canadian Populations
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:35 pm

ExCon90 wrote:The key financial numbers will be the money the riders left in Winter Park, and we're not likely to be told that; but it's good that the management is pleased enough to continue the operation.


Well said, thanks for reminding me!
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:26 pm

The train used coaches that were "stored" during the winter months,now need to be made ready for the spring/summer peak travel,
any car that was "wrapped" will be peeled off/cleaned up.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby gokeefe » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:53 pm

I think it's great that Amtrak was able to use this equipment during the low season.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:09 am

This ski excursion train was a sound idea. I realize that Ellis was "first on the scene" post-railroad operation, but by now all have learned "Ellis is Ellis".

From my almost Daily observations of Chief and Zephyr, normal "slack" winter consist is two Coaches, during "shoulder" season, consist is three. Additionally during peak, Zephyr will add a third Sleeper and the Chief one Coach - presumably for Scouts (unless they are from my Village's Troop; they ride Sleeper - Mom and Dad can afford it).

Presumably this means during "slack" twelve Coaches (five sets each train, plus two spares) are available to support the ski train. Instead of being the usual "bureaucracy of "NO", someone saw a marketing opportunity, squashed the cadre of "why we can't", and moved ahead.

Smart, for once.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Ryand-Smith » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:44 pm

Question, could this be enough to get a loan to buy a diesel from a freight operator or a commuter operator, rehab the train and some cars and make them a dedicated set, perhaps buy a boxcar for storage of skis?
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby electricron » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:09 pm

Having a dedicated set of railcars around will allow for a longer season for the ski train, possibly year 'round service even during the summer ~ with possibly a name change too. ;)

A 5 car train set of Amtrak Superliner LD cars could potential have 74 seats, regional Superliner cars up to 90 seats.
Amtrak Horizons regional cars (ADA & 4 abreast) have 68 seats, while NJT Comet cars (5 abreast) can have 117 seats. Doing some math........
5 x 117 = 585
4 x 117 = 468
3 x 117 = 351
5 x 90 = 450
4 x 90 = 360
5 x 74 = 370
Yes, purchasing some used rolling stock can not only add capacity, but could reduce the number of cars needed in the train - making it more efficient. There are 5 abreast seating commuter coaches available for purchase today from MARC that are in pretty good shape. Indiana's Southshore uses EMU versions of these trailers, so common shared spare parts should be easy to find for decades to come. FYI, MARC II coaches have up to 121 seats per car.
Last edited by electricron on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:02 pm

Hey, there's a surplus of passenger equipment out there servicable enough to run "in public", being auctioned by Ringling Bros.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Woody » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:49 am

ExCon90 wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:Successful season: Skift.com

I'd be curious to know what the financial numbers will be; certainly, ridership metrics were good....

The key financial numbers will be the money the riders left in Winter Park, and we're not likely to be told that; but it's good that the management is pleased enough to continue the operation.

Let's not begrudge the resort owners. Apparently they did the heavy lifting to pay for the train. I don't think Amtrak covered any of the operating losses, tho it certainly gained tons of publicity and good will. If Amtrak spent its own money, I could imagine outrage from haters in Congress. So the funding was largely money from the resort, and "sponsors", advertisers, like the phone company that wrapped the cars.

Some folks hereabouts, with strong political or ideological beliefs, but weak on the facts, like to post about privatizing Amtrak. None of such plans appear viable. But in this one case, support from private backers covered the loss and made the service happen. Good for them!
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