Can New Owners Put the Ski Train Back on Track?

August 25 2009, 12:05 PM
skitrain_s-1In April, after 69 years, the Ski Train that traveled from Denver's Union Station to Winter Park was purchased from the Anschutz Co. for an undisclosed amount by a subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway Co. The train never seemed to be a money-maker, but a new group may step in with a new business plan this season. According to a recent letter to the Denver Union Station Project Authority, Winter Park Resort President Gary DeFrange and tourist train operator Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis would like "to step in and operate a new version of the Ski Train this upcoming winter" with railcars able to hold more than twice as many passengers as the Anschutz train (via The Denver Post). That raises an issue for Union Station, which is undergoing redevelopment construction for commuter rail, light rail, and regional bus terminals that will force Amtrak trains to temporarily relocate. A ski train would also require a temporary platform, which could cost $500,000 to $1 million. Still, even if a platform is built, it wouldn't guarantee the return of the ski train. Iowa Pacific would also need to hammer out an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the track.