Boston skiers can take the commuter rail from North Station to Fitchburg on Saturdays and Sundays, where Wachusett meets them with a free shuttle to the mountain, approximately 20 minutes away.
“The ski train was something that we had for years, but only in the past five years has it become popular,” said David Crowley, general manager at Wachusett. “Just this past weekend, we had 40 people ride the train.”
Crowley said the intriguing thing is that out of those 40 customers, a dozen decided to book lodging at Wachusett Village Inn for an extra day of skiing before taking the Sunday train out. “It was kind of spontaneous,” he said. “They weren’t people who had booked beforehand. I think we’re probably going to put together some sort of package.”
In the Granite State, a nonprofit organization called the New Hampshire Railroad Revitalization Association has floated an initiative to bring back “passenger opportunities along Route 16 in the Conway area.”
In Vermont, MacPherson said Okemo’s master plan that includes a slopeside train station “is not something that we would be able to spearhead alone” without public or private assistance.
“It would be fun to bring back the old ski trains,” MacPherson said. “Now with gas prices what they are, [train service] would have to be comparable in terms of cost and convenience, and would have to work to people’s schedules.”