Launch of Colorado Ski Train in doubt over Amtrak contract dispute

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on December 22, 2009 3:53 pm

Less than five days before the Colorado ski train is scheduled to greet the 2009-2010 ski season, a contract disagreement may halt the train before it even gets choo-chooing.  Iowa Pacific Holdings (IPH), owners of the train, have yet to sign a contract with Amtrak, which would operate the train.  Union Pacific owns the tracks between Denver and Winter Park will only allow Amtrak to operate the IPH train. 

Tough negotiating position for the Colorado ski train to be in.  Here’s the only guy who can drive your ride, now negotiate!

The Rio Grande Scenic train shuttles mountain enthusiasts from downtown Denver to Winter ParkAccording to the Denver Business Journal, more than 13,000 tickets have been sold in advance of the train’s December 27th planned launch.

A court hearing with IPH and Amtrak will happen Wednesday morning.  IPH pres Ed Ellis says its typical for small train operators to not have a signed contract this late in the game, but according to Ellis, Amtrak has upped the insurance requirement from $2 million to $200 million.

“We are tremendously saddened that the ski train may not begin a new era of transporting passengers via the scenic mountain rails to Winter Park Resort,” Ellis said. “We were preparing for a celebratory season with much fanfare, and instead, we’re now left to share in the disappointment felt by thousands of passengers who may not be able to experience this tradition.”

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