General Manager Grabauskas at North Station signing the Wachusett Mountain Ski Train Banner
General Manager Grabauskas joined by Representative Eldridge, Representative Flanagan, and Johnny Appleseed at the Ski Train To Wachusett Mountain Kick-off Event
MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas in partnership with Wachusett Mountain and The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association of North Central Massachusetts announced weekend commuter rail service to Wachusett Mountain. To provide ski enthusiasts with a transportation alternative to the car, and an inexpensive day on the slopes, the T will add an extra train to the weekend schedule while customers benefit from the many promotional discounts to be provided by Wachusett Mountain and several lodging establishments in the area.
“Partnerships like this have so many positive outcomes,” said MBTA General Manager Grabauskas. “We are addressing the needs of the customer by providing an affordable, convenient, transportation alternative to the car that provides customers with access to a sporting activity. This is what quality customer service is all about.”
Pending the start of ski season in early December, the MBTA and its commuter rail contractor, MBCR, will provide weekend service to Wachusett Mountain via the Fitchburg Commuter Rail station. The train includes a new renovated ski coach that accommodates 42 customers, 34 sets of skis, and 12 snowboards. On Saturday and Sunday an outbound train will depart North Station at 8:35 A.M. arriving Fitchburg station at 10:06 A.M. Service returning to North Station will depart Fitchburg Station at 5:35 P.M. arriving North Station at 7:00 P.M. The fare is $6.00 one-way.
A complimentary shuttle bus provided by Wachusett Mountain will transport customers between Fitchburg station and Wachusett Mountain. Customers who show a railroad ticket stub or receipt will receive that amount off the cost of rentals, a lift ticket or lunch.
“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 Wachusett Mountain President Jeff Crowley. “There hasn’t been a transportation option available like this since the era of the gasoline shortages. We’ve always been one of the nation’s most accessible ski areas and now our guests can save energy and money getting here.”
“The MBTA and the Ski Area are providing an excellent opportunity for urban dwellers to come to the country and enjoy the outstanding outdoor recreation and hospitality that our region offers year-round. We’re psyched!” said David L. McKeehan, president of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association of North Central Massachusetts.
Four area hotels are offering special bargain Saturday night lodging packages to allow Ski Train riders to extend their weekend skiing. Details are available by calling the Johnny Appleseed Visitors Center (978-534-2302) or at www.appleseed.org.