Last Run of the Ski Train (from on board!)

frontrange Aug 25, 2008

  1. frontrange

    frontrange TrainBoard Member

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    Hello-

    First off, I hope the subject didn't worry anyone into thinking the Ski Train was truly history! It was just the last run of the 2008 Summer Season. Yesterday I had the pleasure of riding it!

    I was the guest of one of the car hosts...specifically, the host that worked on the bike car. This is always a good thing because you can keep the doors to the bike car open for the trip up to and back from Winter Park. These days, the vestibule windows on the train have to remain closed. Not too easy to shoot through the closed windows!!

    In addition to enjoying a great run on the Ski Train, this also gave me a legitimate reason to be on the station platform and snap some shots of the cars in town for the DNC.

    The Ski Train was all set to depart at 9:00am...unfortunately though, Amtrak had other plans! The westbound California Zephyr was running late and set to arrive right at 9:00am! Almost a half hour later, around 9:25am, we finally pulled out of the station.

    It was a busy morning on the Moffat. We passed a BNSF manifest at C&S Junction (we were on the North Yard Siding). We then met eastbounds at Leyden, Rocky and Plain and passed the MNYRO at Clay. The eastbound at Plain was a work train, the WPHDVA-22, coming out of Phippsburg.

    There was nothing at Crescent, but there was an eastbound MRONY tied down in the siding at Plain. We had clear signals the whole way to Winter Park. Once in Winter Park, we quickly dropped off our passengers and then continued west to Tabernash.

    ======================

    1. The Ski Train sits on Track Two at Denver Union Station, preparing for its final run of the 2008 Summer Season.

    2. A Ski Train volunteer runs a bike up the ramp and into the bike car. Passengers can take bikes along for free on the Summer Ski Train.

    3. BNSF 7766, sitting on Main Three, is passed by the Ski Train, which has a clear signal at C&S Junction (UP Moffat Tunnel Subdivision).

    4. After being wyed at Tabernash, the Ski Train sits on the siding in Fraser until it is time to return to Winter Park to pick up passengers.

    5. BNSF's MDVPVJ (Denver to Provo) trackage rights train meets the Ski Train along the platform at Fraser, CO.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. frontrange

    frontrange TrainBoard Member

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    At Tabernash, we went into the siding and got permission on the wye immediately. Amtrak came by on the main as we were backing around the wye. After Amtrak was gone, we got authority to come out on the main and we went back to Fraser, arriving around 12:45pm.

    After some lunch, a few pictures and two more westbounds, the train left for Winter Park. We got back to Winter Park around 2:15pm, right when the rain started! After getting everyone on board, we departed for Denver shortly after 3:00pm. We had a great run back to Denver with clear signals the whole way...well, nearly. We had two restricting signals at intermediates between Cliff and Crescent, probably due to the weather. We also met a westbound at Crescent, but it didn't have much impact.

    In Denver, we ran through BNSF's yard so the train could be wyed and backed into Union Station. During the day, BNSF's passenger special (with a few NS cars too) arrived at the station on Track Three. I stuck around to get some shots of the equipment before heading home and calling it a day.

    ======================

    6. The Ski Train stops at the base of the Winter Park slopes for about 45 minutes, waiting for passengers to arrive.

    7. While waiting for passengers to load, the Kansas (one of the two private cars on the end of the train) waits in the OS section at the east end of Winter Park, CO under stormy skies.

    8. A major storm moves east toward the plains of Colorado...meanwhile, the Ski Train races down the main track at Clay on the approach to Big Ten Curve.

    ======================

    Here is a link to the 28 pictures I posted from the trip:
    http://www.coloradorailfan.com/gallery/gallery.asp?on=20080823&by=KM

    Hope you had an equally good weekend!
     

    Attached Files:

  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I just LOVE the shot of the Kansas in b/w under stormy skies. The signal is a nice catch, too. Not many D&SL-era signals left.
     
  4. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    Pretty stuff, Kevin. The Ski Train is so photogenic. Makes me wish I was in Colorado again. :tb-biggrin:
     
  5. dmidkiff

    dmidkiff TrainBoard Member

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    The ski train is a lot of fun. I took it last year during the winter season and the scenery up there is just amazing. Never been up in the summer though.

    -Doug
     
  6. bravogjt

    bravogjt TrainBoard Member

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    Great shots! Riding the Ski Train is on my to do list. Maybe I'll make some time for it next summer.

    Ben
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Indeed you had me wondering.... :tb-wacky:

    Nice photos!

    Boxcab E50
     
  8. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Doug, welcome aboard!
    I have chased the Ski Train many times, shooting it in some of the most inaccessible places in the Tunnel District. The scenery truely is amazing!
     
  9. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ken,
    The Summer Ski Train is also known as the Jazz Train. Bikers, hikers and the like take it to Winter Park in the summer. I think there sometimes is a music festival too.
     
  10. frontrange

    frontrange TrainBoard Member

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    Comments / Jazz Train

    Thanks for the all comments everyone. It was a great last run for the season and I am already looking forward to the winter season.


    There is an annual Jazz Festival held in Winter Park and the Ski Train typically runs on that day. I think I may have heard it called the Jazz Train once or twice on that run, but I haven't heard it referred to as that the rest of the summer before.

    Not saying you are wrong, I was just surprised reading your post as it was a new term to me. :tb-biggrin:
     
  11. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You might be right. I think I just lumped the Summer Ski Train in with the Jazz Train, and called it such. I have the Winter Park b/w shot on my desktop. What a moody shot!
     
  12. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    One on my local rides that I always find worth doing; SUMMER or WINTER

    :tb-cool: :tb-cool: :tb-cool: :tb-cool:
     
  13. frontrange

    frontrange TrainBoard Member

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    Works for me...I'm not picky. :thumbs_up:

    I was really pleased with how well the b/w shot turned out. Glad it found a home on a desktop!
     

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