The new Rio Grande Scenic Ski Train hopes to run winter excursion trains to Winter Park as a successor to the Anschutz Co.’s Ski Train. The new ski train service is expected to operate between Dec. 27 and March 28, running as many as 50 round trips between Denver’s Union Station and the ski town on weekends, holidays and other select days. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad company also runs excursion trains in southern Colorado.
For months, Rio Grande Scenic has been negotiating terms of its takeover of Ski Train service with the Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the track, and Amtrak, which will provide operating crews for the new venture. Rio Grande Scenic still needs a final sign-off from Amtrak, but the company has moved forward with selling Ski Train tickets for the upcoming season.
Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s passenger cars and locomotives will be used, and tickets will range from $49 round trip for a coach-car seat to $99 round trip for a “premium” ticket — an upper-level seat in the company’s dome cars, which will also offer limited food and beverage service. Rio Grande Scenic will also sell a limited number of season passes for $600 a pass for the expected 45 to 50 days the trains will run.
Rio Grande Scenic’s daily trains will have total capacity of 2,000 seats, more than double the capacity of last season’s Ski Train, Ellis said. The typical run will have 17 cars — two dome cars that seat 140 each and a mix of club cars and standard coaches. Rio Grande Scenic is collaborating with Winter Park Resort on special Ski Train promotions, Winter Park is offering special package deals that include a round-trip train ticket, overnight lodging and a lift ticket for $139 a day.
Travelers can get more information about the new Ski Train’s schedule and prices by calling 877-726-RAIL or by going to riograndeskitrain.com.