Winter Park Express starts up in January

Artist rendering of the Winter Park Resort platform project by 359 Design of Denver.

Weekend passenger train service from Denver Union Station to the slopes of Winter Park has returned.

Amtrak, Winter Park Resort and Union Pacific Railroad have reached an agreement to conduct the “Winter Park Express” train, fomerly called The Ski Train, from January 7 through March 26, 2017.

The round-trips will run on Saturdays and Sundays, with an additional round-trip on Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day.

“It’s something we have worked on for many years,” said Winter Park Resort President Gary DeFrange. “Since the last train went through the tunnel we have been trying to figure out how to do this.”

The new commuter rail line from Denver International Airport to Union Station enables visitors to travel directly from their flight to Winter Park.

The project, which has a total budget of $3.5 million, includes other infrastructure improvements at the Union Pacific siding in Fraser.

Additional funding for the platform includes a $1.5 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), a $100,000 grant from the City of Denver, a $100,000 grant from the Town of Winter Park, and $1,000 from the Colorado Rail Passengers Association. The remaining funds will come from Winter Park Resort.

“The train really is a differentiator,” DeFrange said. “There’s no other ski area in the United States that can create what we’ve got any time soon. It really ties to the city of Denver even more than before. With the train, your travel to the resort is now part of the fun.”

Adult tickets start at $39 each way and go on sale at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30. The 500 passenger Winter Park Express trains will depart Union Station at 7 a.m. and arrive at the resort at approximately 9 a.m. Customers will be able to grab their gear from the storage cars and be on the slopes within minutes. The Winter Park Express train will depart the resort at 4:30 p.m. arriving in Denver at 6:40 p.m.

Reservations must be made and tickets purchased by 11:59 p.m. the day before departure .

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