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Help with a 'Western' trip/destination

KustyTheKlown

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yep, i saw it roll up and discharge passengers two years ago. and Instagram homey used it to ski winter park on his amtrak tour
 

abc

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Not obsessed with trains but Amtrak's California Zepher stops in Granby, about 2 miles from our condo in Colorado. It's a long (time wise) trip but we could use it to get to Salt Lake CIty and my BIL's place in 1 direction and to Denver (with connections to DIA) in the other.
This worked better pre-Covid, when there were ski buses going from population center (city with train station) to ski mountains.

Amtrak stops at Reno, which is a nice gateway to just about all the major Tahoe resorts. The train stops literally in the middle of the city (“strip”). So much so traffic had to wait while the train unload and load their passengers straddling the main drag. (Next time you go to Reno, pay attention to the rail road track as you rumble up and down the main drag (Virginia St?). The journey through the Sierra wilderness by train I think would be pretty amazing.

It obviously stops at SLC, which we all know there’re all kinds of way to get up to the mountains. Denver, which is a lot more challenging getting to any of the mountain from the city other than Winter Park.

Though between the two, the train goes by Steamboat, I believe. I suspect the scenery along the way would be pretty stunning too.

I took the train out to Denver when I was attending college in Michigan. It’s only half a day plus one night, which I slept through in my chair. But to get from Denver to the mountain, I rented a car.

Outbound was pleasant. But the return leg was horrible. The train was many hours late coming into Denver. The Denver station was tiny. Not even enough place to sit down! Also back then, the location of the Denver train station was desolate. So it’s not like I could walk to a nearby restaurant or bar to kill the time. That was the last time I traveled by train long distance.
 

4aprice

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This worked better pre-Covid, when there were ski buses going from population center (city with train station) to ski mountains.

Amtrak stops at Reno, which is a nice gateway to just about all the major Tahoe resorts. The train stops literally in the middle of the city (“strip”). So much so traffic had to wait while the train unload and load their passengers straddling the main drag. (Next time you go to Reno, pay attention to the rail road track as you rumble up and down the main drag (Virginia St?). The journey through the Sierra wilderness by train I think would be pretty amazing.

It obviously stops at SLC, which we all know there’re all kinds of way to get up to the mountains. Denver, which is a lot more challenging getting to any of the mountain from the city other than Winter Park.

Though between the two, the train goes by Steamboat, I believe. I suspect the scenery along the way would be pretty stunning too.

I took the train out to Denver when I was attending college in Michigan. It’s only half a day plus one night, which I slept through in my chair. But to get from Denver to the mountain, I rented a car.

Outbound was pleasant. But the return leg was horrible. The train was many hours late coming into Denver. The Denver station was tiny. Not even enough place to sit down! Also back then, the location of the Denver train station was desolate. So it’s not like I could walk to a nearby restaurant or bar to kill the time. That was the last time I traveled by train long distance.
Yea, I would not use it to go cross country only to access Granby from Denver or take it to or from Salt Lake if for some reason I didn't have a car. Granby is the next stop after Winter Park. I think that's as close to Steamboat as it gets (about 1 hr +) from there. The Zepher then runs alongside the Colorado River out to Glenwood Springs. It has those cars with the glass tops which would be awesome for photography. Like I said though, Denver to Salt Lake is a long trip by rail.
 

abc

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The Zepher then runs alongside the Colorado River out to Glenwood Springs. It has those cars with the glass tops which would be awesome for photography. Like I said though, Denver to Salt Lake is a long trip by rail.
Well, from Glenwood Springs, there’re commuter bus to get to Aspen. That wouldn’t be too bad at all!

Denver to SLC isn’t any longer than Chicago to Denver, which I did on that one trip while in college. With a stop at Glenwood Spring and skiing Aspen to break the journey up, it’s totally doable. Not too long at all.

SLC to Reno is longer though. And there’s not as much to see on the Nevada plains. Still, from Chicago west, it’s quite tolerable. The panorama doom cars would make the journey more enjoyable.

But from the east coast? That’s really long!
 

Abominable

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Yeah it was miserable. First off, it was the snowiest February in the East Coast in years (1992?), we left in an absolute blizzard, late for the train, left my late 70s RWD barge stranded on a snowbank (parking lot was a complete whiteout and couldn't make out where to park) at the Croton Harmon station (came home to half a dozen parking tickets for it). We were too young, dumb and cheap to get sleepers or anything, just backpacks of food and booze (which all ran out before we hit Chicago). The restaurant car was pricey and not good. But eventually we were on the CA Zephyr to Glenwood Springs (if memory serves).

I'll never forget after days of flatland seeing that CO front range, my first look at the Rockies.

The way home was worse. Some poor fellow died on the train, they took ages to get him off in Chicago. We got stuck in a blizzard somewhere around Cleveland and after sitting on the train not going anywhere for 12 hours the loaded us all into buses (which took a solid six hours in the middle of the night) and then shipped us up to Buffalo to get on another train home. What was supposed to take something like 48 hours took more like 72, and my snowboard and gear took about another week to get home. I think I even had to go somewhere annoying to pick it up -Hartford or something.

But I will NEVER forget our first run, absolutely overdressed and sweating like crazy, trying to push ourselves up after wiping out in a couple feet of fresh snow, and our arms sinking further and further down and us kids just worn out and unable to move, and just laughing and giggling like schoolgirls at the whole thing. And this was when snowboarding was still... not in its infancy but in perhaps its early adolescence and we were east coast rippers with a totally different style than the CO / CA surfers, just hard charging downhill all the time with something to prove, launching into KT Gully.

I have no doubt that it ended up being more expensive to ride the train. And it cost us days of vacation that could have been skiing. But it was an adventure.

Sorry for the memory dump but it's fun to think back on it. And you always look back on these things fondly, thought at the time they might have sucked in parts.
 

KustyTheKlown

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according to instagram guy's stories, the amtrak trains still run hellishly behind schedule quite often, and all kinds of adjustments and diversions come up when traveling long haul
 

camberstick

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We took Amtrak to SLC back in the 90's. Great adventure for a bunch of kids with no commitment but not something I am would ever do again. Hit a herd of elk out side winter park and ripped air lines off the train.12 hours late Inbound. Had to bus back from Chicago on the return after we missed a connection and got dropped in Altoona Pa at 1 am outdoors at train platform with no train or bus to get us back to Jersey til 9 am the next day.
I would fly to Denver and get train there just for the scenery if time wasn't a concern and looking for the experience off it all otherwise just fly.
 

Meredith9

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Yo! it Sounds like you had a trip of a lifetime back in the day, taking the train to Aspen for a week of skiing. That's the kind of adventure that stays with you forever, am I right? Although, I can imagine you guys were a bit underprepared, not knowing about sun protection and all. But hey, you lived and learned!
And, BTW, one of the reasons places like Aspen are so awesome is the community's commitment to keeping things safe and secure. The community works with law enforcement to keep crime low, so you can enjoy the ski trip of a lifetime without worrying about anything. That's what I call peace of mind!
 
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