Wachusett Revives Ski Train from Boston

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SAM Magazine-Princeton, Mass., Sept. 26, 2006-Wachusett Mountain, the most accessible ski area in the eastern USA according to SKI Magazine, is becoming more so. For the 2006-2007 season, the area is teaming with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) and the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company (MBCR) to operate commuter rail service to the mountain this winter. The new "ski train" service is scheduled to begin when the mountain opens for the season in late November.

Skiers and snowboarders will ride from Boston's North Station (and other stops along the line) to nearby Fitchburg, Mass., 10 minutes from Wachusett, on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the ski season. The weekend "ski train" service will leave North Station at 8:35 a.m. and arrive at the Fitchburg commuter rail station at 10:06 a.m. Wachusett will then shuttle customers directly to the mountain and return them to the station in time for the train's 5:35 p.m. departure. Each train will include a designated "ski" car which will allow for easy storage of ski or snowboard equipment.

"In this day of high gasoline prices, the ski train provides our Boston-area customers with an incredible option for public transportation to the mountain," said David Crowley, Wachusett GM. "There hasn't been a transportation option available like this since the era of the gasoline shortages." The last ski trains to Wachusett ran in 1983.

The proposed one-way "Ski Train" fare is only $7.75. Wachusett Mountain will issue a $7.75 Wachusett Mountain credit to all passengers who show their train ticket that day at the ski area. The credit can be used toward a lift ticket purchase or in the Wachusett cafeteria.

Wachusett has been working with the MBTA since the summer to initiate the service, which will carry the usual commuter traffic as well. The MBTA has run trains to Fitchburg on the weekends in the past, but not currently, as there has not been sufficient traffic. The Wachusett push was the catalyst for adding the ski train now. \