Denver Post Frontier Days Train Cancelled

Just got this message today in an email. I’m thankful that my wife and I had the opportunity to experience this amazing historical event. It’s a sad day for that excursion. 

“Hello,

While we have enjoyed our partnership with Union Pacific, due to the company's utilization of its historic rail cars in 2019 and beyond, The Denver Post Cheyenne Frontier Days Train will no longer operate. On behalf of The Denver Post and The Denver Post Community Foundation, we thank you for your past support and participation and hope we have an opportunity for continued support in the future. For further information on Union Pacific and its Steam program please visit up.com/heritage/steam.
Thank you, 
Administrative and Events Manager
The Denver Post Community Foundation”
Original Post

It's a shame what's been happening to the Denver Post. It was purchased by a hedge fund in 2010, and they have done nothing to help the paper. Many of the great staffers have been forced to leave. A tragedy for Denver, and a formerly great paper. A lot of people fail to recognize that without local papers and investigative reporting, with regard to things going on in a town, there's "noone minding the store."  In April 2018, a group called "Together for Colorado Springs" said that it was raising money to buy the Post from the hedge fund (Alden Global Capital), saying that “Denver deserves a newspaper owner who supports its newsroom."  Hopefully something will come of it.

Why some organization hasn't stepped up to sponsor the Frontier Days trip is another story. No excuse for a town that's been booming like Denver has been in recent years. 

I know the Denver Post has been having financial problems but I didn't see this coming.  A sad day indeed!   There is so much history here.

I am curious of what kind of financial outlay the Denver Post has had in the past in sponsoring the Cheyenne Frontier Days Train?  I really don't get it.  I believe the train always ran with 17 or 18 passenger cars and always seemed to sell out.  Hot Water would know for sure.  Last year the coach seats went for $375 each and tickets were only available through a lottery system.

This news hit me hard.  Reminds me of how I felt when Anschutz sold the Denver Ski Train some years ago.

 

Bob Hales 3-Rail on the Front Range
R. Hales posted:

I know the Denver Post has been having financial problems but I didn't see this coming.  A sad day indeed!   There is so much history here.

I am curious of what kind of financial outlay the Denver Post has had in the past in sponsoring the Cheyenne Frontier Days Train?  I really don't get it.  I believe the train always ran with 17 or 18 passenger cars and always seemed to sell out.  Hot Water would know for sure.  Last year the coach seats went for $375 each and tickets were only available through a lottery system.

This news hit me hard.  Reminds me of how I felt when Anschutz sold the Denver Ski Train some years ago.

 

Given the unfortunate incident that occurred on last year's trip, I think the writing was on the wall before we even got off the train.

R. Hales posted:

I know the Denver Post has been having financial problems but I didn't see this coming.  A sad day indeed!   There is so much history here.

I am curious of what kind of financial outlay the Denver Post has had in the past in sponsoring the Cheyenne Frontier Days Train?  I really don't get it.  I believe the train always ran with 17 or 18 passenger cars and always seemed to sell out.  Hot Water would know for sure.  Last year the coach seats went for $375 each and tickets were only available through a lottery system.

This news hit me hard.  Reminds me of how I felt when Anschutz sold the Denver Ski Train some years ago.

 

First, the Denver post has to lease the entire train set, including steam locomotive if so powered, from the UP.

Second, the Denver Post must cover their portion of the liability insurance premium covering all passengers on the train.

Third, the Denver Post was responsible for marketing and all ticket sales, plus coordination of the passengers to and from the train at both Denver and Cheyenne.

 

With all those costs, there was no way that the Denver Post was turning a profit on operations of that train.

N&W 1218 posted:

….. While we have enjoyed our partnership with Union Pacific, due to the company's utilization of its historic rail cars in 2019 and beyond, The Denver Post Cheyenne Frontier Days Train will no longer operate. ….

But, what do they mean by that? Were non-historic rail cars previously used? And, now these historic cars will boost up the cost? Or, unsuitable for what the Post likes to do?

Jim

EBT Jim posted:
N&W 1218 posted:

….. While we have enjoyed our partnership with Union Pacific, due to the company's utilization of its historic rail cars in 2019 and beyond, The Denver Post Cheyenne Frontier Days Train will no longer operate. ….

But, what do they mean by that? Were non-historic rail cars previously used? And, now these historic cars will boost up the cost? Or, unsuitable for what the Post likes to do?

Jim

Their statement essentially means that the UP will be charging a LOT MORE for use of their "historic passenger cars", i.e. VERY EXPENSIVE executive cars.

As Hotwater noted the Denver Post is a shadow of its former self both financially and in their content. In my opinion it’s their own fault. As a reader since 1984 it appears to be self inflicted. If you aim for the 10% of your readers at the political fringe instead of the center you get the current Denver Post. I give them less than a year until they finish themselves off. I will miss the annual Frontier Days Train.  My wife will miss the comics and the coupons. 

Doubtful Gary. My guess would be that the UP steam program has bigger fish to fry with the 150th anniversary celebration and goodwill tour. It makes perfect sense if they couldn't be in two places at once. How many working steam locomotives do they have these days? I wouldn't be surprised if UP just priced the Post out of doing the trip.

Hedge funds stink. And they, as I understand things, don't make much, or any money - - - while wrecking acquired businesses by loading them up with debt.  Heard the Chairman of Blackrock stating that the recent turbulance in the stock market was caused by hedge funds deleveraging.

For what it's worth, the Denver Post Newspaper had been contemplating canceling the CFD special way back in 2016. The folks at the UP Steam Shop actually thought that the 2016 trip was going to be the last one. Also, the "new owners" of the Denver Post, do not have the 100 year historic connection to the UP railroad and the historic Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. So,,,,,,,,goodby to the CFD special.

tncentrr posted:

$375.00 is not cheap, but definitely worth it for a trip like this. UP excursion trains are probably the best in North America. I would pay it tomorrow, if I could get a ticket and get out there (I live in Tennessee) to ride it.

You mean that there are no commercial air lines covering Tennessee that could fly you to Denver? 

Well, the whole Cheyenne Frontier Days train is now canceled forever anyway, so you are safe.

Dominic Mazoch posted:

In the future, my guess UP might have a passenger and steam presence ar CFD.  But more than likely it will be closed to the public

No, I don't agree with you. There would be no reason for the UP to continue such a "public" train, without someone else paying for it. That's why the UP has not operated "excursion specials" for many years, except for the annual CFD train. The liability insurance premiums alone for handling passengers are astronomical.

Hot Water posted:

For what it's worth, the Denver Post Newspaper had been contemplating canceling the CFD special way back in 2016. The folks at the UP Steam Shop actually thought that the 2016 trip was going to be the last one. Also, the "new owners" of the Denver Post, do not have the 100 year historic connection to the UP railroad and the historic Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. So,,,,,,,,goodby to the CFD special.

Not sure why it matters that the current owners (for the past 10 years) had considered cancelling the trip for the past two years.  The newspaper has been driven into the ground so far that the end that was in sight is now here.

As far as honoring the history of the entities they raid, hedge funds only care about fattening the wallets of their members. Tradition, and enhancing community good will, have little place in their operations.

Hot Water posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

In the future, my guess UP might have a passenger and steam presence ar CFD.  But more than likely it will be closed to the public

No, I don't agree with you. There would be no reason for the UP to continue such a "public" train, without someone else paying for it. That's why the UP has not operated "excursion specials" for many years, except for the annual CFD train. The liability insurance premiums alone for handling passengers are astronomical.

Might this also signal the beginning of the end of the UP steam program?

Rusty

Hot Water posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

In the future, my guess UP might have a passenger and steam presence ar CFD.  But more than likely it will be closed to the public

No, I don't agree with you. There would be no reason for the UP to continue such a "public" train, without someone else paying for it. That's why the UP has not operated "excursion specials" for many years, except for the annual CFD train. The liability insurance premiums alone for handling passengers are astronomical.

Apparently not too astronomical for the Ft. Wayne Railroad Society and others who operate excursions.

breezinup posted:
Hot Water posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

In the future, my guess UP might have a passenger and steam presence ar CFD.  But more than likely it will be closed to the public

No, I don't agree with you. There would be no reason for the UP to continue such a "public" train, without someone else paying for it. That's why the UP has not operated "excursion specials" for many years, except for the annual CFD train. The liability insurance premiums alone for handling passengers are astronomical.

Apparently not too astronomical for the Ft. Wayne Railroad Society and others who operate excursions.

It all is dependent on just how much liability insurance coverage the railroad requires. In the case of BNSF and UP, it is normally 750 million dollars coverage. If the NKP 765 group is operating in the Chicago area under METRA, then they are already covered by METRA insurance. When the 765 group travels to that railroad near Cleveland, Ohio, that RR may require much lower liability coverage.

Metra and CVSR are not class 1 railroads. Apparently it is now impossible to operate public steam excursions on class 1 railroads anymore, with Amtrak no longer allowing excursions and most class 1's not willing either, it's basically game over for mainline steam except for ferry moves and non public excursion moves. And hedge funds could care less about steam. Their only goal is making a profit. I believe Jim Squires at NS could care less about steam, either, he is not Wick Moorman. NS is too busy with its normal operations to host steam excursions anymore. You can now ride behind 611 on one mile of track at 10 mph at the NCTM. Anyway, steam is more fun with open windows, at least in my area we still have the 425 and soon the B&M 3713 at Scranton for "mainline" excursions on non class 1 track. And maybe the 2102. Also, the WMSR 1309 might be running by July. We all now have to just enjoy what steam we do have rather than complain about what we no longer have. There are some locomotives that haven't run in decades that will be running soon on tourist railroads like Steamtown and Western Maryland.

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