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bh4rnnr
08-22-2007, 10:24 PM
Well, thought i'd start a thread about thoughts on a Ski train, and i'm not talking about the one to Winter Park. Think it's time we start thinking about a mass transit system to the ski resorts to eliminate some of the congestion on 1-70, as it's only going to get worse.

A costly project it would be, but putting in some kind of speed train to the resorts, I think would pay for it self in only a few seasons. So i'm interested in everyone elses thoughts pros/cons. :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer:

SROR/AKA 2BAD
08-22-2007, 10:50 PM
mono rail right up I70.
you think traffics bad now, wait till they start to build it.

how long 10-20 years :thumb:

farnhamstj
08-22-2007, 11:06 PM
More people in Vail means more $$ in my pocket, so I'm for anything that brings people up into the mtns. What skier traffic? I just walk home.

Shark Bait
08-22-2007, 11:18 PM
Wonder if they could build something elevated? I think it'll be awfully expensive no matter what they do. Especially to go all the way to Vail.

Hulk
08-23-2007, 08:29 AM
The problem is the pricing. When this was an issue in front of the voters, they said it would be $30/rider (IIRC) for a round trip. That's a good deal if you're going up by yourself. But I never go up by myself. It's either my family (4) or a bunch of guys (3+). At $90-120, it's no longer as cheap as a tank of gas.

The monorail study was the first and only public transportation bill I have voted against. The local light rail has been a big success.

60wag
08-23-2007, 08:48 AM
A train up I70 would look cool but I don't think enough people would take the time. They'd have to park a car in Denver, transfer to the train, then transfer from the train to a bus unless the destination was Capper or Vail. Skiers are just way too impatient to deal with that. Have you ever driven up Clear Creek Canyon early on a powder day? Its freaking scary. Personally, I think the better transit solution is a stream of inexpensive buses that go directly to the ski resorts. The buses can originate in several locations in the Denver Metro area rather than one train station. And the buses would cost a fraction of the install cost of the train.

MDH33
08-23-2007, 09:22 AM
Since a train system would greatly benefit the resorts, they should foot most of the bill. Then include a surcharge to the cost of a lift ticket or season pass and make the train ride "free".

:thumb:

nakman
08-23-2007, 09:23 AM
I like the idea of the train but didn't think $5 million for a study seemed worth it. We already know I-70's crouded. And yeah waiting many years for it to get built would be tough. It's sad that so many local folks just don't ski anymore, all because they're turned off by the traffic... I like the bus idea.

But what's obvious now is that the traffic isn't just all skiers. EVERY Sunday afternoon is packed on I-70 now, with folks returning to the city from every activity imaginable. But yes, it's worse in the winter.

Red_Chili
08-23-2007, 09:39 AM
It's sad that so many local folks just don't ski anymore, all because they're turned off by the traffic... I like the bus idea.

But what's obvious now is that the traffic isn't just all skiers. EVERY Sunday afternoon is packed on I-70 now, with folks returning to the city from every activity imaginable. But yes, it's worse in the winter.
I am one of those local folks. I used to ski mid week at Berthoud and Geneva Basin and Loveland for $5 half day tickets and miss the crowds. In fact, some days I was the only guy in the cafeteria at Geneva. It rocked, deep powder, big bumps, no lines, minimal traffic.
Those days are obviously toast. It's the traffic, the cost, the lift lines... forget it. Maybe I should move to Wyoming :lmao: because the biggest problem as I see it is burgeoning population. It will get our trails closed and the only ones left open will require a commitment to get to and a truckload of patience to wait in bumper to bumper every weekend.

Infrastructure is important, but at some point we do have to say "no vacancy".

SteveH
08-23-2007, 10:06 AM
From what I recall, the study of the train cost $50M and the system cost was estimated at $2B (And we all know that any public transportation system cost is underestimated by 100%). To top this, the maximum number of cars it would remove from the roads was 3%. I don't think 3% car reduction on a busy ski weekend is anything to get all sweaty about. Total boondoggle, IMO.

Steve

Maddmatt
08-23-2007, 10:39 AM
From what I recall, the study of the train cost $50M and the system cost was estimated at $2B (And we all know that any public transportation system cost is underestimated by 100%). To top this, the maximum number of cars it would remove from the roads was 3%. I don't think 3% car reduction on a busy ski weekend is anything to get all sweaty about. Total boondoggle, IMO.

Steve

Transportation is always a mess. 1% reduction was enough to get that TRex nightmare approved. Like Red Chili I was a Geneva/Loveland skier and have basically given up on skiing due to the traffic. That's saying a lot, I taught skiing through college, dropped out of college to ski for a year, and worked in the ski industry for 14 years.

My only ski days now are on the rare occasion when somebody loans us a condo for a weekend, that way we can drive up on Friday night, ski Saturday and drive home Sunday mid morning.

Here's where the ski train is missing the boat. I looked into it last year, and you can't buy a ticket on the ski train that takes you to Winter Park on Friday night and returns you on Sunday. I'm sure there are some serious infrastructure problems to overcome, but that's my dream. Imagine the weekend package that gets you and the family on the train at 6:30 Friday night, drops you off at the condo - lift tickets waiting, and takes you back to Denver Sunday night. That's a good weekend.

MDH33
08-23-2007, 10:55 AM
The problem is the pricing. When this was an issue in front of the voters, they said it would be $30/rider (IIRC) for a round trip. That's a good deal if you're going up by yourself. But I never go up by myself. It's either my family (4) or a bunch of guys (3+). At $90-120, it's no longer as cheap as a tank of gas.


Another way to look at it would be to consider that it will take 10+ years to build it and by that time fuel could likely be costing us $20 gallon.

Also, in another decade or two, there might not BE a ski industry due to lack of snowfall...

Both of these scenarios are very real...

:cheers:

wesintl
08-23-2007, 11:52 AM
There will still be snow in 20 years.. enough to ski on too.

They need to stop wasting(spending) money on studies and just do it.

Will it be a success? who knows but SOMETHING needs to be done. Monorail from DIA to Beaver creek with ski stops at silverthorne, frisco, copper, vail and BC with shuttle service from the stops to the mountain. Also a couple stops in downtown and i70/c470. It would eventually go out to glenwood and aspen too. If it takes a bit longer who cares. I have to leave at 6 to not sit in traffic on a sat. Bond it out 30 years. charge $5-10 a ride to get things going to change peoples attitude toward driving. It's be easy to get on at a stop around lookout. I'd use it.

It needs to be marketed as enviromental and time saving among changing the way people think and use mass transit. The latter being the biggest issue.

Either that or echo park is going to kill it once they start opening some other terrain.

Red_Chili
08-23-2007, 11:54 AM
Then we DON'T need the dang thing!:thumb:

I am sure gas will be $20/gal. Even given nothing more than inflation!:hill:

Ron Helmuth
08-23-2007, 12:21 PM
The train-the mono rail-whatever you call it, it's worthless if it does not allow the option for the riders to drive their own personal vehicle onto it and remove their car when they get up to the mountains. Getting a ride to Loveland Pass does not solve my transportation issues if I want to go camping, skiing somewhere other than a ski area, or hiking away from "the beaten path". Just dumping folks at 15 pre-determined destinations is not going to solve any real issue-just defer them from other options to getting there. Once in the mountains-what do they think, that everyone will catch a cab to the Roan Plateau? or to Leadville? To even study this they need a better understanding of exactly where every car ends up going at this time. No train is going to help me cut through the mountains from Aspen to Crested Butte or from Buena Vista to Gunnison. A mix of train travel with automobile based "offshoots" seems to me the way to go...people like being able to control their own destiny, smoke or fart in their own vehicles and not disturb others. My sons and I have discussed that if train riders could actually ride in their own vehicles -and have restroom facilities available-that would perhaps work. These other pie in the sky "feelgood" solutions sound like good Public Relations for the resorts themselves-but lots of people as we are all saying
have just given up on skiing. People prefer their own vehicles and being able to control their own departure and arrival times hence the situation we all now see.

My biggest beef with all the traffic is why can't we try limited hours for certain types of vehicles-say for example no semis allowed in the left lane on ski mornings until 10am. On Sunday afternoons semis and any vehicle towing anything should be restricted to the right lane only. Give people some incentives to change their travel hours-I70 is a fun drive home on a Monday around 11am, travelling up to Georgetown is a piece of cake middle of the day most any weekday. Reduce the fees for truckers using the I70 corridor in the middle of the night, up the fees for travelling other certain times.

wow that's a quick reply?- not- thanks for reading my rant

Hulk
08-23-2007, 01:06 PM
Bus idea is a good one. I can catch a bus at Arapahoe HS that takes me straight to the Broncos. Why not a Saturday morning bus that takes me to Copper or Breck?

subzali
08-23-2007, 01:07 PM
We just need to build a double-decker 6 lane each way stacked interstate. That way when it's snowing hard they can close off the top and have two-way traffic on the underside, and still have 3 lanes each way!



I dunno, it's a hard one. I like the bus idea too, it's cheap and can be implemented pretty much immediately.

nakman
08-23-2007, 03:14 PM
Kinda doesn't matter if the snow quits.. the population is still growing and choking I-70. We've all been stuck in gridlock on I-70 in the summer now too.. so if the snow stops falling we'll just ski less and wheel & camp more... still need to get on I-70 to do it.

I like the double-decker idea, worked for the Bay Bridge! Kinda like the park my own truck on a flatbed rail car idea too, that would be super fun, and it makes a lot of sense.

wesintl
08-23-2007, 03:32 PM
Kinda like the park my own truck on a flatbed rail car idea too, that would be super fun, and it makes a lot of sense.

To me that doesn't make any kind of sense. Fun sure.. The train would have to stretch the whole length of I70 to have any impact on decreased traffic and the logistics and time it takes to drive cars on and off to go an hour down the road makes no sense. The idea of a train or mass transit doesn't apply to those who are using i 70 to go to thier own out of the way place other than you would hopefully be able to get there without gridlock due to mass transit removing cars from the road. The whole I idea is to get mass people from one place to another. It's not intended to work for everyone driving i70. Even in the summer it would be great. Go to the park and ride, get to breck (or whatever ski area) hike, bike, shop, come back on a nice relaxing train where you can doz off.

The bus idea is a convenient short term solution. It won't be fun to ride on a 10" day being stuck on a bus that can't move because it's dumping out stuck behind the same 18 wheeler that didn't think he needed to put chains on.

corsair23
08-23-2007, 04:59 PM
You guys are WAY off base here!

Teleportation is the future man...Beam me up Scotty :D

Until the day you teleport to Telluride and end up with a woman's (or man's for the ladies) body with your noggin attached :hill:


On a serious note, I voted against the "study" proposal because I couldn't see spending that much time and $$ for a study and end up with nada at the end (probably).

The problem with this is you need to make it convenient for people to use, at least more convenient than driving themselves correct? Take light rail for instance...Why do people use it during the week? Fairly convenient, inexpensive, avoids the hassle of traffic, avoid cost of parking downtown, etc. But then look at those trains on the weekend...pretty empty unless the Broncos and to some extent the Rockies are playing.

So, transfer this to a mountain train. It doesn't have to be bullet fast but 2x what light rail will do would be cool. The savings will be from not having to sit in traffic right so even if it only did 45-60mph it might be quicker. How do you make the mountain train convenient? It needs be easily accessible, run frequently, be reliable, be safe, and go where YOU want to go, not just where they want to take you.

So, say you offer only one major staging area in town to get on the train. Where do you put that? North? South? East? West? Most folks won't want to drive 30-60mins to the train, spend 30mins lugging stuff to it and loading up, and then however long it takes you to get to the destination and unload. So IMO multiple "stops" would need to be offered with easy parking/walking to the train.

Then, you need trains running on a regular basis. Not everyone wants to get up at the crack of dawn to go skiing or come back at 2 in the afternoon or whatever. Is it feasible to have enough trains that they can depart say every 1/2hr or even more frequent from multiple locations?

Destinations...Obviously Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Loveland, Dillon/Silverthorne, Frisco, Copper Mountain, and Vail are easy. What if you like to ski Winter Park or Keystone or Breck? I think most people would find transferring from a train to busses to be a major hassle but that might work.

Cost? What it worth to people. To me it is worth the cost of gas, parking, and something for the aggravation of driving "savings" but I'm not willing to spend $50 on top of the price for a lift ticket :eek:. Make the cost reasonable and you can fill up the trains :thumb:

I like the idea of being able to load up your vehicle to take it with you but there is no way that would work. It would take forever to load (think about a ferry), would require huge trains, and they would be slower than snot carrying all that weight.

Bottom line for me...If they can build a train station within a 15 minute drive (or longer if it is on the West side heading toward the mountains) from my house, departs at multiple times throughout the day, is comfy, is relatively fast (hour or less ride), can drop me off at Copper Mtn (where I typically ski), and return me back to my car later that night for at most $25 I'm in :thumb:

MDH33
08-23-2007, 05:06 PM
Then we DON'T need the dang thing!:thumb:

I am sure gas will be $20/gal. Even given nothing more than inflation!:hill:

Exactly, the traffic on I-70 will be dramatically decreased, no trains needed. The Uber-rich can pay the $20 per gallon and enjoy the skiing with no traffic and no crowds because the rest of us simply won't be able to afford it. It's a self-correcting problem.

Groucho
08-24-2007, 01:56 PM
Don't you all see what a enormous waste of resources your deliberation is?

Up until the first quarter of this century, many of the ski towns you are trying to send this 'behemoth of consumer based enjoyment to all' started off as train stations. Keystone, Breck, Leadville, Buena Vista, Eldora, Vail(Minturn), Beaver Creek(Avon/Edwards), Aspen, Monarch, Silverton Mtn, Winter Park(DUH!) and even Cuchara(Walsenburg/La Veta). These destinations all originated in some shape or form at Denver, with stations running all up and down the line. Many of them would not even be recognized as such because they were ABANDONED due to lack of revenue from, at the time, mining(freight) traffic, mail contracts and THE AUTOMOBILE. Nowhere enough passenger traffic to warrant consideration.

Even those beloved gambling towns of Crpple Creek/ Victor and Blackhawk and Central City fall into this category.

The American consumer does not want to be trapped away from their freedom to ride all over the state. To selfish and to self absorbed to do anything but.

Corbet
08-25-2007, 12:01 PM
The American consumer does not want to be trapped away from their freedom to ride all over the state. To selfish and to self absorbed to do anything but.

This pretty much sums it up. Especially the destination skier.

Lets face it, skiing is not a poor man's (or woman's) sport. The affluent tourists have no interest in riding public transportation. Which is too bad as they are probably to ones most equipped to handle a train. You get off the plane and your stuff is already packed. If you got on the train at the airport it would be as simple as catching a connection. Hell with some ambition the airlines could even transfer your luggage. Get off in Frisco, Vail where ever and rent a car if need be.

For the front ranger it just comes down to cost and Convenience. The latter more when you arrive. Keystone, Breck, and the Basin all know this. The resorts with the most to gain are on the I-70 corridor. Who wants to load up 1-3 kids with gear onto a train in Denver. Just to get off and do the same onto a bus to get to Breck? As others have mentioned buses from Denver make more sense.

Personally I don't think there is a good solution to the traffic problem. Well other than living here in the first place ;)

wesintl
02-02-2008, 10:40 PM
First time getting out this season... I'm a WP/MJ rider. I can't take the rest of the ride on 70 anymore. Next year i'm going down 285....

I leave at 6 to beat traffic and ski til noon (hard) and bolt back.

This morning was a NIGHTMARE. 70 was HEAVY traffic and It was a Frickin nascar race on I70. I though i was at darlington. People dodging, weaving, FOLLOWING WAY too close (aka drafting :rolleyes:)

This all came to a head a 100 yards down floyd hill. BAM. The car in front of me is trying to avoid piling it into the 2 suv's that did just that. Steam and parts everywhere. During this fun ride to the hills and the insanity I was extra careful to have PROPER following distance and it paid off. I hoped the guy behind me had enough room and luckily he did but I think it was only my distance that helped him. Get to the bottom and the GD yahoo's merging from 6 about Tag my ass again.

Seriously you will get there and there is plenty of snow for everyone. Slow the fawk down.

The only good news was that I got a nice 15 min or so rest and a great view watching cdot use the howitzer and rocket Berthod for avi's. Nothing slid and I had a good day in the trees.

Ride back... very uneventful and hardly any traffic.

I haven't been this nervous driving probably ever. The insanity of this 4 lane highway in the morning was UNBELIEVABLE.

Sorry for the :rant:

Rogue Leader
02-04-2008, 05:58 PM
I leave at 6:20 on Sundays and ski hard, usually 20-25 runs and leave around 1. there is not really anyone on the road that early at either times. one of the biggest problems I find is the semi trucks. traffic is backed up a ways to pass the trucks. when the roads are congested this traffic just worsens. but then i really only ski Loveland and the Basin so i don't drive the hill to the tunnel.