Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby electricron » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:45 pm

benboston wrote:They could also run a Fort Collins to Pueblo service using the equipment that isn't in use during the week from the ski train. Minimal construction should be necessary for such a project as the trackage is there and a deal must be met with the freight companies.

Here is an image of where construction needs to be done.

Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 10.01.44 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 10.03.10 PM.png


Yes they could, but they won’t. Ft. Collins to Pueblo is around 176 miles, far shorter than the 750 miles Amtrak does not require a subsidy for. Who do you think should subsidize this train, Colorado, Ft. Collins, Pueblo, or other cities along the route?

The Ski Train exists because somebody besides Amtrak itself subsidizes it.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:07 am

Running a passenger train on the Joint line requires 2 host RR's to cooperate, BNSF and UP.
UP will resist or object to passenger service on the Joint line.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:23 pm

As to Amtrak's revenue, do we even know what that is? I've been assuming that the resort and Amtrak have agreed on what Amtrak will charge the resort for the charter while the revenue from the published fares goes directly to the resort to be combined with the money the tourists leave there. Does anyone know whether that is actually the case? It's nothing either Amtrak or the resort would be required to publicize.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:50 pm

It's unlikely to work that way. Passenger revenues would stay with Amtrak and the resort cuts a check for operating subsidy which likely varies according to ridership levels. I'm assuming the arrangement probably follows the PRIIA formula.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby eolesen » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:51 pm

Amtrak is selling the tickets, so my guess is there's a minimum revenue guarantee from the resorts to operate the service.

If sales come up short, the resort kicks in up to the MRG amount. If sales exceed the MRG, the resorts aren't on the hook for anything.

That's how it used to work with airlines who provided service to other resorts like Vail, Steamboat, etc.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:10 pm

It's unlikely to work that way due to the PRIIA formula requirements. There is virtually no scenario where Amtrak isn't owed money because of the way that Amtrak must cost allocate overhead and charge for equipment. In the private sector these costs can be charged off or waived at the operator's discretion ("low demand periods" etc). Amtrak doesn't have that option anymore.

If the resort operator is lucky Amtrak will be pulling in sufficient revenue to cover direct operating costs leaving only allocated costs per the formula.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby eolesen » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:26 am

The cost of ownership and overhead is known up-front, so I see no reason that wouldn’t be baked into whatever the MRG works out to be per trip. There really aren’t a lot of variable costs here.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:55 am

Anyone know what the UPRR is getting out of this venture. I'm quite sure they'd receive compensation of some sort for use of their infrastructure.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby gokeefe » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:15 pm

Likrku just standard Amtrak host railroad payments (not very much).
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby ryanch » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:32 am

SouthernRailway wrote:Gosh, I can't of many viable businesses that would just use productive assets for 4 hours and 20 minutes per week and let them sit idle the rest of the time.

I own a canoe rental business. I have enough boats for consistent peak times of business at midday on weekends. Most of the boats sit idle for much of the week. And for 5-6 months a year, not a single one is in use.

My business is in its 19th season. We're considering expanding this summer. We're very viable.

Now you know.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:52 pm

I was coming here to make a joke about $1 million canoes, but lemme do some math:

Assuming 50 seat-miles per week over 10 weeks of use/year, you’d only need to charge $2 per seat-mile to cover the cost of a $1000 canoe in two years. Or, if you’re going by rentals - assuming 10 rentals/week/canoe over 10 weeks, that’s $10 per rental to pay off the purchase in two years.

For a 50 seat railcar, assuming 200 riders/week for 50 weeks (reserving two for heavy maintenance), you’d pay off that million-dollar capital investment in two years by charging $100/ride. If you instead assume 10,000 seat-miles/week for 50 weeks, you’re down to $2 per seat-mile over two years - and you match ryanch’s canoe business.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby Tadman » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:22 pm

ryanch wrote:
SouthernRailway wrote:Gosh, I can't of many viable businesses that would just use productive assets for 4 hours and 20 minutes per week and let them sit idle the rest of the time.

I own a canoe rental business. I have enough boats for consistent peak times of business at midday on weekends. Most of the boats sit idle for much of the week. And for 5-6 months a year, not a single one is in use.

My business is in its 19th season. We're considering expanding this summer. We're very viable.

Now you know.


Aren't these cars surplus because the winter is a travel slump? So really here we're seeing a better use of these cars than sitting around for three months.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:29 pm

Tadman wrote:Aren't these cars surplus because the winter is a travel slump? So really here we're seeing a better use of these cars than sitting around for three months.


That was my understanding as well.
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Re: Winter Park Express: Denver-Winter Park Ski Train

Postby eolesen » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:13 pm

Yup. Leisure travel tends to plummet from Thanksgiving to early March aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks, and business travel tends to drop off for Thanksgiving to New Years.
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