DENVER (CBS4)– As the Amtrak Winter Park Express gets underway for the 2019 winter season, a team of volunteers are ready to help riders. The Ski Train will rumble from Union Station to Winter Park Ski Resort for its first trip of the season on Friday.
“I’m excited, I’m ready to go. There will be seven of us volunteers on the train and I hope it fills up and once they get onboard they just love it,” said Harry Safstrom, one of the lead volunteer Train Hosts.
A total of 58 people have been through training and are ready to work at least four days this season.
“When people show up we help them find the train, believe it or not, then they bring their gear to here,” said Safstrom. “We go through we hand out a lift map. We talk about the train. We talk about the history. We talk about the geography and most importantly, we talk about what’s going to happen when you get to Winter Park.”
For Safstrom, it’s volunteer work that comes from the bottom of his heart.
“I love it! I love trains, I love skiing, and I love Winter Park. And if I can help people’s trip be more enjoyable, that’s what I’m here for,” he said. “What a way to go, can you imagine? Get on here, have a cup of coffee, kick back, don’t get caught up in the traffic. See some beautiful scenery as you go up there. Get there, get off and just go ski right away. Ski all day until about 4:30 and then come back again with no hassle. It’s wonderful.”
About a third of the 500 passengers the train can hold have no intention of skiing at all.
“It’s just fun, you see grandmas and little kids,” said Safstrom. “It’s wonderful.”
The Amtrak Winter Park Express runs weekends through March and also runs on the first two Fridays of each month. There will be 33 round trips this season.
New this year on the train is a lounge car with floor to ceiling windows.
Tickets start at $29 each way. Children ages 2-12 ride for half-fare with each ticketed adult. Passengers can book a trip on the Amtrak website.