T h e  U n o f f i c i a l  S k i  T r a i n  P a g e


Photo Gallery

Here's a selection of Ski Train photos over time, arranged geographically from east to west.  Click on the thumbnail images to see a larger version.


Board!   We're ready to depart from Union Station, pre-dawn on 12/28/97.
Preparing for departure, 2/10/2002.  These ex-Amtrak F40PH locomotives were acquired by the Ski Train just before the previous season.
On this date, one of the F40PH locomotives was undergoing maintenance, so an SD40-2 was borrowed from Union Pacific and tacked onto the head end.
The returning Ski Train is passing the east switch of Rocky siding on 2/25/1996, just west of the Highway 93 overpass.
LIttle 10 Curve -- Westbound at the west switch of Rocky on 12/28/2000. Rio Grande GP60 #3154 is subbing for ailing Ski Train F40PH No. 242.  The F40s were just starting their first season on the Ski Train.

Climbing into the Big 10 Curves -- 12/28/2000. The train heads geographically east for a short time as it loops around the mesa.

Original Ski Train -- Returning to Denver on a Sunday in April 1984, at Coal Creek Canyon, and led by the three F9's from the erstwhile Rio Grande Zephyr.
D&RGW Coach #1014 -- March 1984, pictured with the original Ski Train below tunnel 1.
Original Ski Train -- Eastbound on the last run of the 1984 season at Coal Creek Canyon.
Exiting Tunnel 1-- Westbound on 2/20/1994, we get a good look at the tail end.
1997-98 Version -- January 2nd, 1998 at Plainview, under leased Amtrak power.  For some reason the dome car CALIFORNIA was absent.

Ascending the Front Range -- 1/02/1998 at Plainview siding, twisting through Rainbow cut.

The Club Cars -- Exiting tunnel 16 during the westbound climb on 12/28/1997.
Exiting tunnel 16 on 1/29/2000. The private cars show off their fresh paint job and Rio Grande lettering.

A note about photos: all the shots that I took from open vestibules were with permission from Ansco management, and escorted by train personnel. 

Entering East Crescent -- the Continental Divide comes into view right about here... (1/29/2000)
Mayor's Special -- The original Ski Train running as the annual Mayor of Denver's Special, including two domes borrowed from the Rio Grande Zephyr, at Crescent in early 1982.
At Crescent -- Gross Reservoir is visible in the canyon below and the Continental Divide forms the horizon. (1/29/2000)
Entering Tunnel 19 -- just west of Crescent is a dense concentration of tunnels. (1/29/2000)

Entering tunnel 23; note the intermediate signal.  MOUNT ELBERT is about to pass into the next tunnel, followed by NORTH PARK. (12/28/2000)

February 20, 1994-- the Ski Train is running an hour behind schedule as it enters Tunnel 29.  SP No. 8355 (visible) had dropped its load somewhere around Tunnel 13, leaving a lone GP40M for power.  The train slowed to a crawl and we limped into Crescent siding to await help.  Dispatch radioed a freight waiting up at Pinecliffe, and that train cut off a pair of locos to come to our rescue.  As a result, there were four units on the point for the rest of the trip up.  Unfortunately I was never able to get a photo of them, but the two loaners were both Espee speed-lettered units, just like No.8355.
West of Pinecliffe, the train penetrates a narrow canyon at water level.  South Boulder Creek is usually frozen over in winter. (February 2000)
Here are a few views of the train as passengers detrain at Winter Park resort.  The train stops literally feet away from the ski lodges and lifts. 
February 10, 2002-- skiers (and  others) unload at Winter Park.  The "bucket-brigade" system was being used to unload skis from coach MOUNT PRINCETON.
Looking roughly south-east.  West Portal of the Moffat Tunnel is visible over the top of the train.  It was a beautiful and cold day, which is common at Winter Park.
Looking roughly north, towards Fraser and Middle Park.  The mountain begins at the edge of the right-of-way.
And here are a few shots of the train itself at Winter Park.  The train is so long that the power must pull past the east switch of Winter Park siding so that all cars are in a safe position to unload.

December 2000 was the debut of the Ski Train's own F40PH fleet.  Unfortunately, one of them (No. 242) had mechanical trouble almost immediately.  As a result, Ansco borrowed D&RGW No. 3154 from UP to head up the train.  Here's the train's power on the 28th, moments before pulling away from the resort after unloading.

Looking south from the opposite side of the train, on February 10, 2002.
Although the Armour-yellow freight unit does nothing for the train's esthetics on this day, it was better to be a little ugly and on time, than to arrive late.
A close-up of the nose of F40PH No. 283.  These locomotives kept their original Amtrak numbers.  They look really nice in traditional Rio Grande colors.

Car No. 1, coach LA PLATA PEAK, with the slopes of Winter Park Ski Resort visible in the background.
After unloading all passengers, the train pulls away from the base of the resort.  The private cars bring up the rear.
The private cars wait near the tunnel mouth, next to the resort.  See the equipment page for more information on these cars.  (12/29/2004)
The train heads down the valley, where it will be turned around and held until later in the afternoon.  The observation car on the rear (KANSAS) was formerly Rio Grande's business car WILSON McCARTHY.
Shuttle buses such as this one will take you anywhere you want to go in the valley, for no charge.  (12/29/2004)
The train waits to load skiers for the return trip, 12/29/1994.   The locomotives are stopped just short of the west portal of Moffat Tunnel.
At Winter Park -- The train is stretched around the curve at the base of Winter Park's ski slopes, 12/29/1994.
Here's a panorama of the train and the resort, waiting to load passengers for the return trip on 12/29/1994.
After returning to Denver and unloading its passengers, the Ski Train backs out of Union Station to turn around and be ready for the following day's run.

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  James R. Griffin.  All rights reserved.