The company attempting to revive the Denver-to-Winter Park ski train was derailed the week of New Year’s Day. The week before, a U.S. District Court judge in Denver refused to issue a temporary restraining order that would have forced Amtrak to operate the Rio Grande Scenic ski train for Iowa Pacific Holdings. Iowa Pacific claimed in court it had what amounted to a contract with Amtrak to operate the ski train with Amtrak crews from Dec. 27 to late March.
Amtrak’s lawyers said a contract never was finalized, that Iowa Pacific had yet to agree to the passenger railroad’s insurance requirements, and that the ski-train’s locomotives and railcars had not passed Federal Railroad Administration safety inspections. Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC says Amtrak is making unreasonable demands to operate the train, including requiring $200 million in insurance which would cover terrorist attacks.
About 13,000 reservations have already been made for the train through March and all were promised a refund.