Winter Park Ski Train
It is looking like the Winter Park Ski Train is not going to run for it’s 70th season. The agreement between Amtrack, the taxpayer backed National rail line, and Iowa Pacific, owner of the proposed new ski train, has come to an impasse.
The problem as I see it is Amtrack didn’t want to have anything to do with a rail service that didn’t need a taxpayer handout.
The proposed new set up was for Iowa Pacific owned trains to run on Union Pacific track using Amtrack staff and engineers. Amtrack raised their required insurance amount by 100 fold at the last minute to scuttle the 70th year of service of the Winter Park Ski Train. Service is will not resume to at-least January 6th when a federal judge will hear Iowa Pacific’s injunction against Amtrack to force Amtrack to run the train for this season.
Iowa Pacific has sold more than 13,000 tickets already that it now will be forced to refund. Iowa Pacific thought it had reached an agreement with Amtrak, which enjoys a government-protected monopoly to operate intercity passenger trains, to continue the ski train as an excursion line.
It really is a shame as the Ski Train was a unique amenity that Winter Park was able to offer to guests wanting travel to the Colorado Rockies from Denver on rail. The Ski Train will be missed by all who have grown up with the service and those of us here in Winter Park.
Chris December 27th, 2009