I took Amtrak’s seasonal ski train in Colorado during opening weekend. Here are the 6 best and 4 worst parts about the ride.

I was disappointed to find that there’s limited space in the lounge car.

The lounge car on the Amtrak Winter Park Express train.


Monica Humphries/Insider


One of the train’s features I was most excited to check out was the lounge car.

The dedicated lounge car is one of the train’s five cars. The bottom level houses the train’s café, which serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and prepacked snacks.

But the top area was what I was excited to explore. Above the café was a lounge with glass-domed windows and first-come, first-served seating. I’ve experienced the wonder of massive, curved windows before on a Rocky Mountaineer train ride from Denver to Moab, Utah, and I knew they live up to the hype.

But when I entered the lounge about 45 minutes into the two-hour ride on the way to Winter Park, I realized that I wasn’t going to be spending much time in the lounge. Every seat was taken, and it didn’t seem like anyone was planning on leaving anytime soon.

I wished that there was a way for more people to enjoy the seats, but it seemed like the only way to guarantee I’d enjoy the glass-dome views was if I arrived early to the train platform for the ride home. 

And that’s what I did. I got to the train 40 minutes early for my return trip, which cut into my skiing time. But I was ultimately happy with my decision — the entire lounge was full just seven minutes after the train doors opened, and the views paid off. I marveled as the sun set behind the Rocky Mountains and spotted Denver’s skyline twinkling in the distance. 

I thought the views from the lounge window were much better than from my coach seat, where I had to lean over my seatmate to see views and photos. 

On my dream train, every car would have glass-dome windows so every passenger could soak in the mountain views in this way.

This post was originally published on Insider

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