Colorado Ski Train revival gathers interest from Iowa Pacific Holdings

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DENVER - The operator of tourist- and freight-hauling short line Rio Grande Scenic is considering resuming the Denver-Winter Park, Colo., "Ski Train," the Denver Post has reported. Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis said the talk is "very premature," but he has alerted Union Pacific, the line's owner, to his desire to run the train.

In April, Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz's company said it was selling the Ski Train's rolling stock to Canadian National's Algoma Central Railway, ending a 69-year run for the excursion train. Anschutz's company attributed the decision to overall cost increases, particularly for liability coverage, operating issues with freight trains, and uncertainty surrounding the redevelopment of Denver's Union Station as the hub for light rail and commuter services.

In a presentation to government leaders, Ellis' company said the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad "can provide all services necessary for the Winter Park train," including "railcars and locomotives, onboard services, reservations and ticketing, sales and marketing, and administration."

A UP spokesman said the railroad department that interfaces with passenger operators hasn't received a proposal from Ellis yet.
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