Limited train service throughout fall
Amtrak’s California Zephyr will not run through Glenwood Springs for a couple months this fall while track work is completed between Granby and Grand Junction.
According to a press release from Amtrak, track improvements along the Union Pacific Railroad in Colorado will require the Zephyr to use an alternate route between Denver and Salt Lake City during five periods in September, October and November.
The detour will follow the historic transcontinental railroad route through Wyoming and Utah on freight rail tracks that passenger trains have not regularly used since 1997.
On Sept. 1-7, 16-23; Oct. 1-8, 16-23 and Nov. 1-4, Amtrak will be unable to use the Union Pacific tracks between Granby and Grand Junction. On those days, the Zephyr will detour between Denver and Salt Lake City via the northern route through Wyoming, making no intermediate station stops.
On the days the train detours, Amtrak will provide alternate motorcoach transportation at Denver, only to and from Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. Passengers traveling between Chicago and Denver or between Salt Lake City and the San Francisco Bay Area (Emeryville) will be unaffected.
Service to Fraser-Winter Park and Granby and Green River, Helper, and Provo, Utah, will be suspended on the days of the train’s detour.
Amtrak has informed passengers ticketed between Denver and Salt Lake City during the 35 days of the detour and they have been offered travel on alternate days or refunds.
The detour route will follow a portion of the original transcontinental Union Pacific route that was completed in 1869. While the scenery is less mountainous than the California Zephyr’s regular route, it offers broad vistas of the high plains and an opportunity to see pronghorn antelope and other wildlife.
Amtrak said it regrets the disruption, but Union Pacific said the improvements are needed to maintain safe and timely operation of trains over the regular route. The railroad plans to install more than 86,000 cross-ties on more than 135 miles of its track.
For more information about the California Zephyr, fares and schedules, call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com.
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