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Western Railroad Discussion > The Return of the Ski Train


Date: 01/09/17 07:39
The Return of the Ski Train
Author: es44fan

Ok, so it’s no three F40PHs leading and no DRGW colors, but close enough!! After an eight year absence, the Ski Train returned to the UP Moffat Subdivision on January 7th and 8th carrying passengers up to Winter Park Ski Resort. Now operated by Amtrak, the Winter Park Express was a BIG highlight for both skiers and railfans. So, like a lot of railfans in the Denver area, I got up bright and early to go chase the first run of an old friend.  

Day 1 (Saturday)

1: Starting out at Leyden at 7:20am with several other railfans around, the Ski Train led by AMTK 196 and AMTK 156 rounds the curve at Leyden siding in the early morning sunlight.
2: AMTK 406 rides on the rear of the Ski Train in a Winter Park Express/CenturyLink wrap.
3: Continuing the chase up the mountains, the Ski Train rounds the horseshoe curve in Coal Creek Canyon as it starts the climb up to Tunnel 1.

There's more...​








Date: 01/09/17 07:43
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: es44fan

4: The plan was to catch the Ski Train one more time at Tolland but that plan changed quickly. As about seven cars of chasers reached Rollins siding, the Ski Train flew past at track speed and before any of us could reach Tolland, the train was already in the Moffat Tunnel. Thankfully the drive back was eventful and a few of us spotted a moose standing by the road.
5: After failing to catch the Ski Train at Tolland, I returned to Cliff siding to catch Amtrak 5 as it flew past in the frozen mountains.

Day 2 (Sunday)

I decided to grab a few more pictures of the Ski Train on Sunday. Up bright and early again, I drove off to the Moffat Sub. Thankfully, instead of temperatures ranging from 5 to -5 degrees like Saturday, the temperature was in the 40s, so I’d be a little warmer today. My initial plan was to grab the Ski Train at Plain but several track workers were working on the siding so I quickly raced back down and into the mountains off to Crescent. By now the Ski Train was already in Rocky and it was 7:25am. I arrived to Crescent and was welcomed by 70MPH wind gusts. So much for warm weather. Thankfully, I still managed to beat the Ski Train to Crescent.

6: The wind continues to howl as the Ski Train races through Crescent Siding. In all my years of watching trains on the Moffat, I’ve been able to time Amtrak to about 75 minutes to Crescent from it’s actual Denver departure time. The Ski Train broke that record today, arriving at Crescent in just under an hour at 7:55am.

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Date: 01/09/17 07:46
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: es44fan

7: AMTK 406 continues west around the curve at Crescent.
8: After my quick Ski Train chase today, I returned to Plain to grab Amtrak 5 as it is seen here climbing through the Rocky Mountains.
9: Since the Moffat Sub was a ghost town after both Amtrak trains, I drove out to the BNSF Brush Subdivision to grab a few trains before I went home. The first train here was BNSF 7426 leading the eastbound H-DENLIN towards Tonville siding.

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Date: 01/09/17 07:47
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: es44fan

10: BNSF 2598 leads the eastbound Hudson Local towards Tonville Siding.
11: BNSF 4062 leads a westbound freight towards Barr Siding to conclude my weekend of trains.

Thanks for looking!!






Date: 01/09/17 07:52
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: ButteStBrakeman

These are FANTASTIC photos!!!! Thanks for getting out there and getting them.



Date: 01/09/17 08:59
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: 3rdswitch

Great bunch.
JB



Date: 01/09/17 10:54
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: the_expediter

Thanks so much for braving the elements and shooting those...Steve in rainy Grossmont, CA



Date: 01/09/17 14:04
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: SP8595

Very Nice series! Great shot of the Moose:}



Date: 01/09/17 15:37
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: ns1000

NICE pics!!



Date: 01/10/17 02:13
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: DFWJIM

Really enjoyed your shots. Kind of surprised that the Ski Train does not get an earlier start out of Denver.



Date: 01/10/17 03:56
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: jmbreitigan

Looking at photo #6, I can only imagine how bad that wind was. 
John



Date: 01/11/17 06:55
Re: The Return of the Ski Train
Author: ColoradoRailfan

Excellent shots from the first run! Love the shots at Crescent in particular...I swear there have been multiple occassions where we have just missed each other by a siding or two when trackside. Haha

Kevin Morgan
Arvada, CO
ColoradoRailfan.com



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