THE WINTER PARK EXPRESS | Getting to Grand County made easy
A huge draw for Winter Park Resort is its proximity to the Front Range, but for every minute a traveler has to sit in traffic on Interstate 70 it gets exponentially longer.
Luckily, the resort has a unique solution in the Winter Park Express, the only ski train in North America.
“With the train’s continual growth in ridership, it’s been gratifying to see the incredible popularity of this Colorado institution for visitors on the Front Range, throughout the country, and beyond,” said C.A. Lane, vice president of operations and assistant general manager for the resort. “Nowhere else in North America can you take a train from a major metropolitan city to the slopes of a world-class ski resort.”
This year, Winter Park visitors will have more chances than ever to ride the train. In addition to trips every Saturday and Sunday as usual, the train will also run every Friday for 18 new trips this year. The train starts running Jan. 10 through March 29.
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Winter Park Resort Marketing Director Liz Agostin explained the expansion is to keep up with demand.
“This addition is a 30% increase in trips throughout our Winter Park Express season, and gives guests the opportunity to plan a long weekend ski trip without having to drive,” she said.
In 2019, the train saw a record number of riders with 19,200 tickets purchased throughout the season, an increase of about 7% from the 2018 season and 8% from the inaugural season in 2017, according to Amtrak.
Since the revival of the ski train in 2017, more than 52,000 passengers have ridden the train and it’s only expected to continue growing in popularity with construction projects on I-70 and recent improvements at the resort.
Even the train itself has seen upgrades, including a Sightseer lounge car with floor to ceiling windows to enjoy the unique railway views. It also added a snack and beverage cart so passengers can enjoy coffee on the morning trip and beer or wine on the way home.
Originally started up when Winter Park was a fledgling ski hill in 1940, the train service was suspended in 2009 before the resort partnered with Denver, Amtrak, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the town of Winter Park and the Colorado Rail Passengers Association to fund it again.
Tickets start at $29 each way and tickets are on sale now at Amtrak.com/ WinterParkExpress. Each ticketed adult can bring a child age 2-12 for half the adult fare.
The Amtrak trains depart Denver Union Station at 7 a.m. and arrive at the resort at approximately 9 a.m., leaving Winter Park at 4:30 p.m. to return to Denver at 6:40 p.m.
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