Colorado Ski Train

Colorado Ski Train

Colorado Ski Train

Ewan is of the generation of Coloradans who remember skiing in the 1970s with the Eskimo Ski Club, which was closely associated with the Ski Train.  Ewan’s wife rode the Ski Train in the 1990s.  Starting from Denver’s Union Station, the Ski Train went through Arvada, passing not far from what used to be the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant, and heading on up into the mountains to Winter Park, a ski area founded by Tenth Mountain Division man Frank Bulkley.  Bulkley also suggested to the Denver and Rio Grande railroad ideas for running a ski train.

The Ski Train wasn’t the cheapest way to get to Winter Park, but everything about skiing costs money, and it saved sitting in a traffic jam on I-70 for hours both coming and going.  So counting the value of the wasted time, and not having to drive over the icy pass to Winter Park, the train was often by far the best value!  But the best part was the scenery – seeing a completely different view of the mountains (and Denver!) than the view from the highway, and having the time and big windows to appreciate the scenery.

Involving the railroad, the mountains, and skiing, the Ski Train was a symbol of Colorado’s history, and ran from 1940 to 2009.  However, reports of its death seem premature as it was brought back for a weekend in 2015 and efforts to bring it back permanently continue.

Look for this t-shirt design at the Colorado Railroad Museum, and for related items at Historyonashirt on Etsy.

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