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  #11  
Old 04-23-2009, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
So of the ten replies so far, at least 5 said they never rode but meant to one day (or take someone on it). If that's any indication, I wonder if that's a fair sample of all skiers? If so, I'd bet if even just half of the people who said "Maybe one day" had ridden it if an increase of, what, 50,000 more customers might have made it's viability better? Just something to think about, how much impact we have with where we spend or don't...
Great point, and by the same argument that's precisely why we all ran the Rubicon last summer.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2009, 12:51 PM
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I can't help but wonder "what if" we tried it like a lot of European countries-

If the rail lines here would allow for the loading of personal cars so that when you arrive at your destination you have transportation arranged and available, there would be greater ridership.

It seems to work over there. Amazing how we have built a network of tracks that are way under utilized.
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2009, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
...For just the two of us it was at least a $200 ski day and we did it just a couple times because of it.
That's why I gave up SKIING!
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2009, 02:39 PM
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Part of riding the ski train was the charm and camaraderie. I was younger so there was little charm in it but I was able to hang with my friends and horse around. You did not ride the ski train to save money or even to get up there as an easier way, you rode it for different reasons. One of the bad things about the train was the fact that you would get up there after the opening lift had been running for nearly 30 minutes, no freshies for you. Then you had to be on board at 3:30 or the train would leave without you.

I was able to ski so much back then because there was a train. If there was no train I would have had to find a bus or ???? My parents worked on the weekends and could not drive me up the mountains. So many kids rode the train and had their parents drop/pick them up at the end of the day. Even back then it was pricey but worth it to my parents to have me enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The ski train was a treat to most people, a special event to enjoy with family friends and loved ones. Saving money was not the intent. I am sad to see it go and will forever kick myself for not taking Sharon up the hill in the train.
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  #15  
Old 08-05-2009, 10:37 AM
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http://www.denverpost.com/ci_12993517
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:24 PM
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more promising info

http://www.9news.com/news/article.as...3502&catid=188
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  #17  
Old 09-18-2009, 12:33 PM
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Christa and I did it a few years ago , it was pricey-not something you'd do every weekend but was a really nice, different way to go skiing. We had a blast!
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  #18  
Old 12-23-2009, 03:27 PM
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the latest...

Quote:
Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 2:32pm MST

Judge takes up Colorado ski train disputeDenver Business Journal - by Cathy Proctor

A federal judge is expected to make a decision Wednesday that could determine whether the popular ski train makes its first run of the season as planned between downtown Denver and Winter Park ski resort.

About 13,000 people have bought tickets to ride the revived ski train, now called the Rio Grand Scenic ski train, for the December-March ski season.


Judge Robert Blackburn Wednesday morning heard arguments by attorneys for Amtrak, the national passenger-rail agency, and Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC (IPH), based in Chicago. Efforts by both sides to get the ski train operational for the 2009-2010 ski season by the Dec. 27 scheduled start date broke down in recent weeks, leading to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by Iowa Pacific against Amtrak. (DBJ report.)

Iowa Pacific asked Blackburn to make Amtrak live up to agreements reached several months ago about operating the ski train using Iowa Pacific’s equipment. Amtrak told the judge the agency shouldn’t be forced into a “shotgun wedding” with Iowa Pacific.

Issues between the two sides revolve around insurance coverage, the number of people Amtrak needed to run the train, the safety of the equipment, and the financial stability of Iowa Pacific.

The two sides have been negotiating for months, but a contract wasn’t ever signed.

Ed Ellis, president of Iowa Pacific, said small passenger train operations, such as the ski train, typically have unsigned operations agreements in place with Amtrak for months before a signed contract is completed a few days before operations again. Ellis also said Iowa Pacific has spent nearly $750,000 getting the ski train ready and marketing the upcoming season.

The old ski train, operated for 69 years by a company run by Denver entrepreneur Philip Anschutz, ceased operations last March and the train sold to a Canadian company. Anschutz officials cited the high cost of insurance as one reason they were halting the ski train.

Iowa Pacific, which owns four shortline railroads in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, stepped up last fall to restart the train.

Iowa Pacific thought it had reached a deal via conversations and emails that started in August, Robert Smeltzer, a partner with Chicago law firm Lowis & Gellen LLP who represented Iowa Pacific, told the judge. The deal called for Iowa Pacific to pay Amtrak $13,000 per round-trip and provide the cars and locomotives, Amtrak would provide the crew to operate the train, Smeltzer said.

He dismissed Amtrak’s concerns about the safety of Iowa Pacific’s train equipment, which Amtrak’s attorney said had 48 safety violations in a federal inspection earlier this week. Smeltzer said both sides had always agreed that the equipment had to pass federal safety requirements before operations could begin.

“There’s no risk of any train running on that line that has not passed safety inspections,” Smeltzer said.

Iowa Pacific started selling tickets in November, and told Amtrak about those sales, he said.

“We had a deal and we told then what we were doing, if we didn’t have a deal presumably they would have said something,” Smeltzer said.

But in December, Amtrak raised the insurance liability coverage it wanted from Iowa Pacific from $2 million to $200 million. Buying such insurance would cost about $2 million — too high a cost for Iowa Pacific, Smeltzer said.

Amtrak’s attorney, Edwin Aro, a partner with Hogan and Hartson LLP, told Blackburn that he should rush Amtrak and Iowa Pacific into an operations agreement starting Dec. 27 with several issues still outstanding.

Aro also defended Amtrak’s decision to change the terms of the agreement, saying such charges are routine in deals where the parties do their due diligence. The higher, $200 million insurance coverage Amtrak wants is because the ski train isn’t a one-shot excursion tour but a regularly scheduled service carrying thousands of passengers over the train’s ski season. The figure is also equal to Amtrak’s liability cap, he said.

As for the cost of that insurance, Aro acknowledged that there’s a high premium on the coverage.

“Yes, it’s expensive. That’s one reason the former owners quit operating the train,” Aro said. “You can’t assume that nothing bad is going to happen.”

Amtrak expected to make a $28,000 profit on the ski train operations this season, Aro said.
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  #19  
Old 12-29-2009, 03:21 PM
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Well it was touch and go for a while there, but the word today is, no ski train.
http://denver.bizjournals.com/denver...9&ana=e_du_pap

Quote:
Monday, December 28, 2009, 11:08pm MST | Modified: Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 12:25pm


Plans for ski train grind to a halt

Denver Business Journal


Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC said late Monday it won’t operate the ski train between Denver and Winter Park after all.

The Chicago-based company tried on Dec. 23 to convince a federal judge to order Amtrak to provide crews for the ski train. Iowa Pacific sued Amtrak after talks between the two parties failed to get the ski train running by its scheduled Dec. 27 start date. Issues between the two sides revolve around insurance coverage, the number of people Amtrak needed to run the train, the safety of the equipment, and the financial stability of Iowa Pacific.


Iowa Pacific said it had contacted Amtrak after the judge’s ruling, but the two companies haven’t been able to reach an agreement.

Iowa Pacific will issue refunds for passengers who had booked passage on the ski train.

“The ski train is heavily reliant on advance bookings, which came to a complete halt last week,” said Ed Ellis, president of Iowa Pacific, in a news release. “In addition to losing the revenue from the initial runs, it became clear that this delay will result in market uncertainty, resulting in insufficient sales for the train to be self-sustaining for this season. Unlike Amtrak, we do not receive any subsidy for operating passenger trains and as we have stated from the beginning, the ski train operation must be financially sound.”

Customers with reservations can contact skitrainservice@iowapacific.com or 877-726-RAIL to get a refund.

Iowa Pacific said the plan to start the ski train service for the 2009-2010 season came after six months of planning and discussions that involved Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration and track owner Union Pacific Railroad.

The old ski train, operated for 69 years by a company run by Denver entrepreneur Philip Anschutz, ceased operations last March and the train was sold to a Canadian company. Anschutz officials cited the high cost of insurance as one reason they were halting the ski train.

Marc Magliari, spokesman for Amtrak, said the problem with getting the ski train running rested with Iowa Pacific. He said Amtrak worked with Iowa Pacific for three months on a plan to run the trains, but two days before Amtrak planned to operate a test train and five days before the scheduled start of service, Iowa Pacific “could not provide to Amtrak a federally certified safe train to operate and adequate insurance. IPH has not been able to supply locomotives with adequate power and brakes to even test their rented railcars back and forth into the mountains.”
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