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Passenger Trains > More from Sat and Sun Ski train

Date: 01/09/17 09:40
More from Sat and Sun Ski train
Author: frntinplate

Was in Denver Friday for an Avs game (yes, they finally won at home), Saturday chased the Ski Train for a short distance, then rode in on Sunday.   A few notes on the ride:
1.Good, smooth ride.
2.Cars were clean
3.Train was OT everywhere, even 15 mins early to Winter Park.
4. Sunday arrival a short delay outside of Denver Station to wait for arriving and departing RTD B line trains, not a fault of Amtrak. 
5.Very friendly and enthusiastic onboard crew and Ski Train staff.
6. Efficeint and quick ski/snow board stowage and dispersal. Located at each Superlinger with baggage room and resulted in shorter waits for skis than previous ski train.
  1. Lets get someone to clean those windows..with such great scenery it was a shame dirt and dust hindered the view.
  2. No snack or bar car.. What, no after skiing beer or wine?
  3. Wait at Union Station snack shops unacceptably long.  Very slow staff, could not pour coffee to save their life.. Took 15 minutes to get two sodas..While not Amtrak’s fault, If they will not put a snack car on the train then put some pressure on the Union Station vendors to speed up service.
  4. Now that they offer overnight ticket options, those returning the second day could not easily find open seats on the return trip.  Crew needs to better organize and inform those passengers on how to find open seats.
  5. Even advance lowest fare ($39 each way) is a bit steep for those who want to use this train frequently.  Lets try for some lower same day Round Trip options.
  6. Return schedule is set to hold the Ski Train at Frasier Siding  until #6 departs (if on time that would be about 3:55 PM)  then follow #6 and arrive at the Winter Park platform at 4:15 for loading.   Now we all know that #6 rarely is on time, but if it is this will create a lot of congestion. On Sunday #6 was over 2 ½ hours late, yet the Ski Train did not arrive for loading until just under 20 minutes before scheduled departure.  This made for a bit of rushing and minor concern to those passengers not privy to what was going on and/or towing 2-3 kids.  So, on days when #6 is late why not get the Ski Train to the platform by 3:45 to 4 PM?   BTW, on Sunday after WB#5, there were no other trains in the area until the EB Ski Train departure.  Congestion on the Moffat seems to be a thing of the past.
However, the day that #6 is on time, there is sure to be a mess at Union Station as #6 will be at the wye about 15 minutes before the Ski Train arrives ready to back, and someone will be really delayed.
  1. Did I mention, this train needs a bar/snack car.
Overall a great experience, although I miss the single level ski train cars of the past as they seemed to offer more interaction with other passengers and were a bit easier to move around in as everything is on one level.   Also, lets get a bar/snack car on this train.

Some photos:
  • As long as they park the train at the station, be it day or night, everyone can get the classic shot of the “dummy” locomotive with the iconic Union Station – Travel by Train sign in the background.  Note the line of passengers waiting outside in 3 degree weather for a very late #6.  There was absolutely NO place to sit inside Union Station, everyone from the bars was taking up seats and surfing the net.  Passengers simply went outside and waited in line for over 20 minutes before #6 finally backed in.  Getting a good designated waiting area for Amtrak passengers needs to be a priority in Denver UT. Yes, I know the hotel and bars officially own the space, but come on…it was cold outside.
  • Just west of Leyden a new housing site with mega-mansions under construction allows access of views of the initial climb up to Rocky.  Note that these houses are being built extremely close to each other and only time will tell if access for such shots will be blocked.


Date: 01/09/17 09:42
Re: More from Sat and Sun Ski train
Author: frntinplate

  • More from the new housing overlook. Sun went behind a cloud 10 seconds before the train past and came out again 10 seconds later…oh well, next time.
  • Headed up to Coal Creek Canyon

Date: 01/09/17 09:46
Re: More headed to tunnel 1
Author: frntinplate

Down at the highway from tunnel 1, another TO poster was above. 

Date: 01/09/17 09:49
next day at Winter Park
Author: frntinplate

That was the end of my chase due to family obligations.  Next shots at Winter Park and Frasier during the Sunday layover.
After discharging passengers the Ski train departs Winter Park headed west for Frasier Siding.   


Date: 01/09/17 09:50
Re: next day at Winter Park
Author: frntinplate

Running 20 minutes late (after arriving Denver 15 minutes early) #5 exits the Moffat Tunnel.  If on time #5 will be almost exactly 1 hour behind the Ski Train.

Date: 01/09/17 09:53
Re: next day at Winter Park
Author: frntinplate

At Frasier, on the west end of the siding tied down for the layover.  Note that the Black Line route free bus takes you from Winter Park Ski resort to the Amtrak Frasier station and runs every 30 minutes, so anyone can get this shot.  Last shot shows one of the crew walking back to the train during the snow storm. 

Date: 01/09/17 09:55
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: frntinplate

Late afternoon and the snow was still falling.  The 406 power car is pushing snow off the main as the Ski Train arrives Winter Park to board returning passengers.  note the new platform is heated, melting the snow and ice reducing slipping issues. 

Date: 01/09/17 10:43
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: joemvcnj

Somebody with one of those aluminum-sided "canteen" lunch trucks needs to pull up near the stations in Denver and Winter Park. Back east, they have great comfort food at low prices. You often see them near construction work sites too.

Date: 01/09/17 10:57
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: BigSkyBlue

Great shots in tough weather conditions.

Have you shared your comments with Amtrak or the Winter Park Ski Area?   BSB

Date: 01/09/17 15:14
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: Auburn_Ed

A geedunk truck (ask a Navy Vet) might make it in Denver, I seriously doubt that WP is going to allow anybody the option of parking by the platform selling anything.  But it would be nice.


Date: 01/09/17 17:39
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: mt-king

Can't they come up with one cross country diner?

Date: 01/09/17 21:25
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: mundo

The cost of staffing is very large...to bring obs from either end of the line, for just a weekend train.
The snack operation would soon out grow space and amout  staff at the counter, then its bad PR.   Its a catch 22.

If unions and Amtrak would allow a local catering outfit to staff a food service car, that might work.

Date: 01/10/17 00:24
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: mojaveflyer

Nice series of shots in difficult conditions... Thanks for sharing!

James Nelson
Thornton, CO

Date: 01/10/17 02:03
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: mp51w

I thought correctly from the earlier construction photos on TO that was going to be a heated platform!
Thanks for the mention of the free bus too!  There is a tubing hill that is pretty cool, more
toward the Fraser area!  Great photo coverage and commentary!

Date: 01/10/17 08:43
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: mammothlacrosse

The bar idea probably wont happen since Alcohol isnt allowed.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/17 09:12 by mammothlacrosse.

Date: 01/10/17 16:30
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: USNChief

Auburn_Ed Wrote:
> A geedunk truck (ask a Navy Vet)

I'd forgotten all about geedunk trucks!.
> Ed

Ret. Navy Chief Bob Jensen
Manteno MP 47 CN/IC Main Line , IL

Date: 01/10/17 17:08
Re: next day at Winter Park - end of posting
Author: Jbarton

As others have said, great photos and information.  Thanks for sharing this with us.

Jim Barton 

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