You don’t have to go to Europe to travel via train. If you’re itching to get skiing and don’t want to deal with icy roads and weekend warrior traffic, hop on a train. You can start the party early in the bar car, walk around, and get a geography lesson at the same time.
Reno Snow Train
RENO SNOW TRAIN – Amtrak charter trains that operate each winter between the Bay Area and Reno, Nevada.
Jan. 29th through March 5th only.
Step aboard the Reno Snow Train and enjoy the scenery in comfort. Historical narration, strolling minstrels and our special Piano Lounge Car provide on-board entertainment. Ticket price starting at $259. – keyholidays.com
Saratoga Springs to Gore Mountain “Polar Express”
The Gore Mountain Snow Train will make its first run Dec. 30, and continue every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the end of March. Breakfast and/or dinner is served on the train, and of course there is the mandatory bar car. The train can handle up to 800 passengers, with a choice of seating in “vintage” coach cars or dome cars.
Schedule: Saratoga Springs to North Creek: Departs 7am arrives 9:20am with a free 5 min shuttle to Gore Mountain.
North Creek to Saratoga Springs: Departs 4:30pm, arrives at 6:50 p.m.
Boston to Wachusett Ski Train
Skiers from Boston can take the weekend “ski train” from North Station to nearby Fitchburg, MA between Dec. 10th and March 31.
Schedule: Departs North Station at 8:35am and arrive at Fitchburg Station at 10:06 a.m. Wachusett Mountain provides a free shuttle from the station to the slopes (~20 minutes). Shuttle leaves Wachusett for Fitchburg station at 4:45pm, and the train departs Fitchburg at 5:35pm for Boston. Each train includes a designated “ski” car for ski/snowboard gear. Fare is $7.75 one-way.
Metro-North Ski Train
Ride the Metro-North Ski Train from NYC and NY Metro areas and take the free shuttle to Thunder Ridge from the Patterson, NY train station (1 mile). Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Week, Martin Luther King Day and President’s Week. You can buy a discounted combo train and lift ticket. If you go mid-week, call ahead and the shuttle service will pick you up for free.
Nordic Ski Train: Anchorage to Curry
Alaska Backcountry skiers, telemark skiers and snowshoers try to keep the Nordic Ski train a secret, but every year it sells out. That’s because this train transports you to a skier’s Shangri La. The train travels to the historic area of Curry, about 24 miles north of Talkeetna. Hundreds of acres of untracked snow and the sort of virgin Alaska wilderness we all search for. Bring your own food and drink or purchase it on the train. Once you’ve skied until your legs burn and the train whistles you back aboard for the trip home, the fun has just begun. Everyone migrates to the bar car where the Polka Band plays endless polkas for your dancing pleasure. And you thought you were tired.
Empire Builder or Ski Train: Chicago and Whitefish
The food is quite good, and eating in the dining car with its wrap-around windows is both a gastronomical and visual treat. You pass through the park near dusk. Soaring peaks surround you as the train slows to a crawl inching up the mountains. It make stops in East Glacier, Essex, and Izaak Walton Inn, and West Glacier before stopping at The Inn at Whitefish, MT. Amtrak fares for coach class range from $149 to $332 each way.
The Ski Train Denver to Winter Park: 1940 -2009
Begun in 1940, the Ski Train had a history of over 69 years of regular, scheduled trips to Winter Park Resort. The train took a hiatus from 2009 till 2015. This season the train will be running on 26 select days between January 7th and March 26th 2016.
- Route: From Denver’s Union Station, the 56 mile route heads west through northwest suburban Denver and then generally parallel to South Boulder Creek, past Pinecliffe and Rollinsville. The route climbs about 4,000 feet and passes through 28 tunnels before reaching the final mountain underpass, the 6.2 mile long Moffat Tunnel. It is the highest railroad tunnel in the United States and passes under the Continental Divide. The train stops less than 100 yards from the base of the ski lifts of Winter Park.
- Cars and Capacity: 14 passenger cars (eight Coach class, one retreat class, three Club Car class; two Cafe Lounge cars). Transports 750 passengers, the largest capacity of any scheduled passenger train in the U.S.
- Length: 1,500 feet – over one-quarter mile.
*Let us know if we are missing any major ski trains in the US that you have used.