Non-stop service from Newark to Telluride
The Acela is great, but it is sooo expensive! Taking Acela to Newark and then flying to Telluride would require fairly deep pockets (though there are plenty of people with deep pockets in this area that may not flinch at Acela's fares). Certainly would be steep for me though. if people would pay a fortune (by the time you factor in train and air fare), I still wonder why there isn't any form of commercial air service in the MD/WV ski areas. The Deep Creek Lake/Wisp, Canaan Valley, and Snowshoe regions are one of the few places on the east coast of the U.S. that don't have practical air service. Us Air goes to Morgantown and Clarksburg, one would think that it would go to Elkins also, which isn't much further (probably 30 minutes flying time for the commuter planes that currently go to MGW or CKB). Wonder if commuter air service will be in store for Elkins in the near future. Or for that matter, a service like Hooters Air is to Myrtle Beach, perhaps flights during ski season from a central location (say BWI) in the Baltimore/Wash area to DCL or CV (well, due to weather perhaps Elkins). Even in a turboprop, flying time wouldn't be much over an hour. I'd love to see such a service, and think it would not only help vacationers, but the local WV economy as well. Thoughts anyone?
Sorry to hijack this thread re: WV flights, but I figure it's at least somewhat related!
Elkins used to have air service, but when the government subsidies/regulations were stopped, the air service stopped. The town is pretty small along with the airport, and I'm not really sure how much the hills around the airport affect takeoffs and landings but I doubt they are a favorite feature for pilots. It would be nice to have air service there, but in the winter, I also wonder how often weather conditions would curtail service.
I checked fares, which is a tad premature because air fares typically drop in the winter, especially 40 days before departure.
The RT air fare from Newark to Telluride is $633 and takes 4 hours and 33 minutes. The 1 way train ticket is $79 unreserved coach, and takes 3 hours from Union Station to Newark Intl. Airport (EWR). I believe skis must be checked on Amtrak train (someone correct me if I am wrong).
There's also daily Amtrak Service from Union Station to Cumberland. I'm surprised that some enterprising soul has not tried to run a shuttle bus/van service from Cumberland to the CV during Winters. That train fare is only $30 one way--well within the range of affordability for local college students looking to ski.
You're right, skis do need to be checked on Amtrak. There was an ad in Penn Station (Baltimore) this past winter for someplace in VT (forgot the name) and the fine print said that all skis must be checked.
I agree w/ you about the van service idea. But it wouldn't do me any good, since the drive is only 3-4 hours. Now air service to Elkins would be a completely different story (at least from BWI, by the time I drive to IAD or DCA from Baltimore and get through security I could already be in CV).
As an interesting fact, leaving Baltimore at 7:30am, it takes as long to drive to Northern Virginia (Tysons Corner) as it does to Keyser, WV. About 2.5 hours. However, Tysons is only 60 miles, Keyser is 150! This was true 4 years ago (I would never attempt it again) so I'm sure today it would take as long to drive from Baltimore to Dulles as it would to drive from Baltimore to Deep Creek or Canaan Valley, at least leaving during rush hour.