Winter Park Resort, CO announced on Thursday afternoon an expansion of the Winter Park Express train to 32 round-trips for the 2018-19 ski season and the continuation of $29 starting fares.
Winter Park is the only ski area in the country with direct rail service from a major city, and in fact, with rail service to Union Station from Denver International Airport, means travelers from anywhere in the world can get to the ski hill — no car required. The train stops less than 100-feet from the lifts at the base of the resort.
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For anyone who has had to endure the I-70 corridor on a busy weekend powder day, will appreciate the benefits of the Winter Park Express. Whether you’re taking advantage of the traffic-free, relaxing train journey, or heading to another Colorado resort, officials estimate a full train will remove as many as 500 vehicles from the congested mountain corridor for every round-trip.
The double-decker Amtrak Superliner train leaves Union Station and heads north and west as it climbs toward the Rocky Mountains, offering views of the famous Flatirons above Boulder and the surrounding plains. It snakes its way up gentle grades as it glides through the remains of the area’s pioneering past. One of the more striking aspects of the journey is the number of tunnels, many of which were built by hand in remote areas. Of the 31 tunnels, the Moffat Tunnel is the longest at 6.2 miles as it cuts through the Continental Divide some 50 miles from Denver. From there, it’s a short ride to Winter Park.
The original Ski Train ran continuously from 1940-2009 and was brought back temporarily for a weekend in 2015 to celebrate Winter Park’s 75th anniversary. Tickets sold out quickly, which renewed interest in resurrecting the concept under a new partnership arrangement through Amtrak, Union Pacific, and the resort.
The Winter Park Express Amtrak schedule now includes round-trip routes on the first two Fridays of January, February, and March, which adds three new Friday round-trips. Weekend service will continue. Service starts Jan. 4 and goes until March 31. The train departs from Denver’s Union Station at 7 a.m. to get to Winter Park by 9 a.m. and leaves at 4:30 p.m. to get back to Denver at 6:40 p.m.
Tickets are available now with the continuing $29 starting fare each way. Children ages 2-12 ride for half-fare with an adult.
Winter Park resort is 1 of 36 iconic resorts available on the Ikon Pass and is currently undergoing almost $30 million in capital improvement projects in preparation for this year’s ski season, including adding a new 10-person gondola and an updated snowmaking system.