The Winter Park Express will have round-trip rides on Fridays, cheaper fares for 2018 season

Posted at 3:56 PM, Aug 25, 2017

DENVER – The last days of summer are upon us and that can only mean one thing for Coloradans: It’s time to start thinking about those weekend skiing trips to the mountains.

With that in mind, Amtrak officials announced on Friday the schedule and fares for the Winter Park Express train that runs from Denver’s Union Station to Winter Park Ski Resort – and there is some good news for winter sports enthusiasts.

The train will run weekends from January 5 to March 25, 2018, plus every first Friday of the season: January 5, February 2 and March 2.

Officials also said you can book your trail before the season begins at the price of $29 one-way for select departures. The discounted tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tickets sold during the winter season will be priced $39, $49 and $59, respectively, but children can ride for half the fare with each ticketed adult.

The train will leave Union Station in Denver at 7 a.m. and leave Winter Park at 4:30 p.m.

The ski train started in 1936, but stopped in 2009 when the ski train was sold to the Algoma Central Railway. Iowa Pacific Holdings tried to revive the ski train but the company and Amtrak could not reach an operational agreement.

Amtrak and Winter Park offered a ski train for one day in March 2015. It was so popular they added a second day. About 900 people rode the train over those two days.

The train saw 15,000 riders this year and added a trip on Monday, Feb. 20 -- President's Day -- because of the high demand.

Planners at CDOT estimate the train could lead to 500 less cars on I-70 each day it runs. While it’s a small amount, it could lead to 1,000 fewer cars per weekend.

Visit the Amtrak Winter Park Express website for more information on ticket prices.