The mood on the Winter Park Express ski train will be a little more spirited when service begins in January, thanks to the addition of a lounge car that not only will offer snacks and refreshments but beer and wine.
The views will be intoxicating as well. The new railcar will be a two-level Amtrak “Superliner Sightseer” with windows that start at floor level and wrap into the ceiling, offering vistas of spectacular scenery as the train climbs through Jefferson County, the rocky foothills near Eldorado Canyon and the historic Moffat Tunnel under the Continental Divide. The train stops right at the Winter Park base, which sits at the west portal of the 6.2-mile tunnel that opened in 1928.
The first Winter Park Express of the season will roll out of Denver’s Union Station on Jan. 4.
Three kinds of beer — Fat Tire Amber and Blue Moon ($7.50), and Coors Light ($5.50) — will be offered. Woodbridge wines (chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and merlot) will be priced at $6.50. Light snacks will include chips, nuts, candy and sweets. Coffee, tea, water, juice and soft drinks also will be available.
The lounge car is expected to become the social hub of the train with open seating on both levels.
Service is expanding this season, too, with the addition of three Friday round trips. Starting the first weekend in January, the Winter Park Express will operate Saturdays and Sundays through March 31. There also will be service on the first two Fridays of each month. Fares start at $29 each way, and children (12 and under) ride for half-off when traveling with ticketed adults.
Winter Park Express trains depart Union Station at 7 a.m., arriving at the resort at approximately 9 a.m. Return trips leave at 4:30 p.m.and are scheduled to pull into Union Station at 6:40 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Amtrak.com/WinterParkExpress.
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