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Denver to Raton ~ Thruway Bus route?

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Thanks Jim. Does that mean it's only during the modified timetable during shut-down period or it is gone for ever? I did a few test bookings for the end of the year last night and the bus service was being used as part of some routes.

Mostly I would like to know if the bus takes the I25 or another route
 

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Yes it seemed obvious that the I-25 would be the route but hoped that it might have travelled further west calling at some of the more remote towns as part of a collection service.

Just looking for a scenic ride between the two places although bus right heading south down the I-25 may give a good view?

Thank you
 

railiner

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Yes it seemed obvious that the I-25 would be the route but hoped that it might have travelled further west calling at some of the more remote towns as part of a collection service.

Just looking for a scenic ride between the two places although bus right heading south down the I-25 may give a good view?

Thank you
Front Range of the Rockies looking west....mostly semi-desert looking east, with a few hills, and bluffs in between. Most scenic part is climbing Raton Pass at the end of the ride...
 
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PVD

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for a pretty good stretch West would have the mountains to contend with, there are some alternate routes to the East
 

niemi24s

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Your biggest problem with this route, as I see see it, is that Google maps indicates both bus trips (going North or going South) take place between about 5 to 10am and 7pm to midnight. If you must go by bus, I'd pick a date with a full or nearly full Moon and hope for a cloudless night so you can actually see something.

But if I was going to do this I'd skip the bus and make a day trip out of it by renting a car. That way you can go wherever you want and whenever you want and have much better images for your scrapbook. If adept at reading topographic maps, this is a good way to plan such an adventure: MyTopo Free Online Topo Maps

Seems you're doing this to see mountains and not the Western end of the great American prairie, so my advice is to get out of Denver as soon as possible and up into the Rockies by taking I70 West out of Denver to Breckenridge, then head South to Leadville and then on to Raton sort of like this. . .
VV's Trip.jpg
. . .and miss almost all of that urban sprawl around the big cities.
 
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Eric S

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Isn't this the southbound bus that departs Denver around 5:30am and arrives Raton around 9:45am, so it might be dark upon departure from Denver but should be daylight some time prior to arriving in Raton?
 

niemi24s

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Yes, now that I think about it Google Maps just shows the next bus departure from when the search was made. My bad. Corrected Post #9. Thanx.

But even so, for a trip that (IIRC) begins in the UK I think a bus ride due South from Denver to Raton would be a disappointment. There's already a healthy dose of prairie on the train to Denver. V-V stated he'd hoped to get off the beaten path (I25) and see some of the smaller towns. Leadville, at least the one I remember from the early '60's, seems to fill that bill quite nicely.

There's also some chance the bus windows (like the train windows) might be filthy dusty/dirty and provide nothing but a clouded view of the mountains West of I25. A rental car solves that problem. But V-V hasn't mentioned the timing of this trip and snow could be a deterrent for anybody not used to driving in/on/through it.
 

Bob Dylan

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Its Temporary Jamie as Greyhound is really cutting Service all over the Country, but who knows what will be going on in the Fall, especially when the Next Wave of the Virus hits the US! ( its already happening in Asia )
 

jebr

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I'm not sure if you're looking specifically for mountains, or if you're looking for simply something that takes the path less traveled. If you're looking for the latter, one decent option would be pairing the Bustang South Line with the Outrider to Lamar, CO, transferring at the Tejon P&R in Colorado Springs. The timing is close enough that I think the noon run leaving Denver Union Station is intended to be a timed transfer to the Outrider to Lamar, getting into Lamar at 6:48 PM. That said, I'd call to confirm that once things start to get back to normal again. If going eastbound on the Southwest Chief, this would be enough time to make that transfer (and the bus stop is shared with the Amtrak station.) Otherwise you'd be looking for a hotel room, either in La Junta or Lamar (both appear to have some low-end motels within walking distance of the station.)

You'd pay two sets of fares: one for $12 adult/$9 senior from Denver to Colorado Springs (exact cash or mobile app) and then a separate $29 one from Colorado Springs to Lamar (exact cash only.)

I've taken the Denver to Colorado Springs bus, and it's basically a commuter-style bus. Nothing too crazy exciting, and it follows I-25, but you do stop for drop offs and pick ups at a couple of park and rides. I haven't taken the Outrider, but that seems like more of a "slice of America" local route, going along US-50 from Pueblo to Lamar and stopping in some small towns along the way. No mountains along that path less traveled, but still prairie and potentially interesting viewing and company, depending on your style and comfort zone.

EDIT TO ADD: There's a few other Outrider services that go much further into the mountains, but you'd be looking at an extra overnight or two. It's something that very much seems worth exploring if time/finances allow, but there's no direct or easy same-day connecting service from those out of Denver to other Amtrak train stations.
 
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Willbridge

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I've ridden the DEN>RAT and RAT>DEN connections and they get as close to the mountains on I-25 as one can get without being in the mountains. Southbound/westbound most passengers go back to sleep for the first hour. In the summer the only part of a round-trip in the dark is the last half-hour through Denver.

Regarding cleanliness, I've never had complaints. The bus is serviced in Denver overnight and turns in Raton. There have been complaints about the through Dallas <> Denver buses that provided the connections DEN<>KCY<>CHI, for obvious reasons. In the last pre-COVID schedule they had been discontinued, so that solved the problem.

The Raton buses serve both the Denver Bus Center and the Denver Union Station. The latter has better security. Thruway buses and Bustang (CDOT) buses use Gates B3 and B4. I assigned them to those gates because they are close to the Amtrak Tracks 3 and 4 and have benches. Up to the COVID interruption that has worked well enough that none of my successors have messed with that.

The transfer is in the Raton Intermodal Station (yep!) and there are restaurants and a saloon within a short walk in case of a wait for Amtrak (see last photo).

2014 May - June 020.jpg2014 May - June 007k Gate B3.jpgP1040407.JPG

Check EVERYTHING after COVID shutdowns, as public services like to de facto discontinue or restructure things when the service has been disrupted. The DEN<>RAT connection itself was a result of the 1997 discontinuance of the Desert Wind.
 
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v v

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First thanks to everyone.

I started researching a new US Amtrak journey just a couple of days ago to make up for the disappointment of having to cancel a round the world rail trip due to start this summer.

Being able to start a US journey later in the year gives us a small but possible chance of it happening. But we're not counting on it as don't want to put anyone else's life at risk nor our own.

The flip side is we try to find the facts behind government advice, the screaming headlines and media hype wherever we travel, so are not influenced too heavily just by screaming headlines.
As an aside the UK government thinks Egypt and Cairo are places to be wary of, we found the exact opposite just a few weeks ago. Understand those responsible for giving warnings and trying to protect have to be over cautious, but to a small degree we are prepared to make our own decisions based on extensive research and take our own small calculated risks.

Pleased to have that out of the way and just to repeat we wouldn't dare knowingly put others at risk.


So the plan is not a plan, just three or four loose ideas that are as fixed in this rapidly changing world as anything can be. Then about a half dozen things to do and places to go we would like very much to achieve.

First fixed plans:

Ride the Texas Eagle end to end. We want to arrive in the US as late as possible to allow as much time from now for things to settle. We need to be close enough to get to the Gathering if it happens, therefore north to south. This forces the TE trip to happen first due to other arrangements we may make later in the journey, this way round gets us to the right location to give maximum flexibility around the Gathering dates and after.

Visit some friends. If something this virus has taught us is to properly value those you like and love.

Have got to get to Memphis, I just have to visit the Dr King centre there as one of my lifetime ambitions

Be in the US at the time of the US Presidential elections, I'll leave the politics there.


On leaving the Los Angeles / San Diego area we are making vaguely for the mid-west with 3 route options including via Sacramento. Then to the south east to Huntsville and maybe to the Space Coast to stay on Cocoa Beach again, watch Manatee, visit Dorthy and Hubby and visit the Space Centre.
Then to Memphis and along the Mississippi to St Louis then back to Chicago and friends to the north of there. From there maybe across to the UP, then across to Syracuse, NY, then NYC then fly back.

The Denver to Raton section was an idea to use on Thruway buses as against Greyhounds although I do know that Amtrak sometimes use Greyhound. We both love riding Greyhound but the last two rides a year apart we took we both caught a bug, so at the moment will give Greyhound a miss.

Previously we have taken a Thruway bus from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo, that was some of the best travelling we have done.
If the Denver to Raton journey is interesting and scenic then that may be the way we go, will also research all the options others have put forward too, great getting inside information.

That's about it, a loose plan that isn't even a plan yet, but may be if things work out.


Front Range of the Rockies looking west....mostly semi-desert looking east, with a few hills, and bluffs in between. Most scenic part is climbing Raton Pass at the end of the ride...
That paints the picture, thank you


But if I was going to do this I'd skip the bus and make a day trip out of it by renting a car. That way you can go wherever you want and whenever you want and have much better images for your scrapbook. If adept at reading topographic maps, this is a good way to plan such an adventure: MyTopo Free Online Topo Maps
Renting a car is usually the last option as we enjoy public transport wherever it's possible. We do rent when there is no other option but as hard as it is at times we will always opt for public transport fist.


Isn't this the southbound bus that departs Denver around 5:30am and arrives Raton around 9:45am, so it might be dark upon departure from Denver but should be daylight some time prior to arriving in Raton?
Yes southbound, just enough daylight in that journey, then breakfast in Raton.


But even so, for a trip that (IIRC) begins in the UK I think a bus ride due South from Denver to Raton would be a disappointment. There's already a healthy dose of prairie on the train to Denver. V-V stated he'd hoped to get off the beaten path (I25) and see some of the smaller towns. Leadville, at least the one I remember from the early '60's, seems to fill that bill quite nicely.


If we travel from Denver it will be after arriving from the west. Not logical but I think it is explained above.


There's also some chance the bus windows (like the train windows) might be filthy dusty/dirty and provide nothing but a clouded view of the mountains West of I25. A rental car solves that problem. But V-V hasn't mentioned the timing of this trip and snow could be a deterrent for anybody not used to driving in/on/through it.
In my experience in the last 2 or 3 years greyhound windows have in general been cleaner than Amtraks


Its Temporary Jamie as Greyhound is really cutting Service all over the Country, but who knows what will be going on in the Fall, especially when the Next Wave of the Virus hits the US! ( its already happening in Asia )
Of course you are right JIm, but we have to hope don't we. And anyway, who on this forum keeps shouting at me to book it.
After the last two memorable visits to you, not sure you would want a third!


I'm not sure if you're looking specifically for mountains, or if you're looking for simply something that takes the path less traveled. If you're looking for the latter, one decent option would be pairing the Bustang South Line with the Outrider to Lamar, CO, transferring at the Tejon P&R in Colorado Springs. The timing is close enough that I think the noon run leaving Denver Union Station is intended to be a timed transfer to the Outrider to Lamar, getting into Lamar at 6:48 PM. That said, I'd call to confirm that once things start to get back to normal again. If going eastbound on the Southwest Chief, this would be enough time to make that transfer (and the bus stop is shared with the Amtrak station.) Otherwise you'd be looking for a hotel room, either in La Junta or Lamar (both appear to have some low-end motels within walking distance of the station.)

You'd pay two sets of fares: one for $12 adult/$9 senior from Denver to Colorado Springs (exact cash or mobile app) and then a separate $29 one from Colorado Springs to Lamar (exact cash only.)

I've taken the Denver to Colorado Springs bus, and it's basically a commuter-style bus. Nothing too crazy exciting, and it follows I-25, but you do stop for drop offs and pick ups at a couple of park and rides. I haven't taken the Outrider, but that seems like more of a "slice of America" local route, going along US-50 from Pueblo to Lamar and stopping in some small towns along the way. No mountains along that path less travelled, but still prairie and potentially interesting viewing and company, depending on your style and comfort zone.

EDIT TO ADD: There's a few other Outrider services that go much further into the mountains, but you'd be looking at an extra overnight or two. It's something that very much seems worth exploring if time/finances allow, but there's no direct or easy same-day connecting service from those out of Denver to other Amtrak train stations.
I think you know us too well Jeb, it's a mixture of both in your first sentence. Some interesting ideas in you post, I'll look through them carefully, and thank you for writing all the options out for us.
 

Bob Dylan

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First thanks to everyone.

I started researching a new US Amtrak journey just a couple of days ago to make up for the disappointment of having to cancel a round the world rail trip due to start this summer.

Being able to start a US journey later in the year gives us a small but possible chance of it happening. But we're not counting on it as don't want to put anyone else's life at risk nor our own.

The flip side is we try to find the facts behind government advice, the screaming headlines and media hype wherever we travel, so are not influenced too heavily just by screaming headlines.
As an aside the UK government thinks Egypt and Cairo are places to be wary of, we found the exact opposite just a few weeks ago. Understand those responsible for giving warnings and trying to protect have to be over cautious, but to a small degree we are prepared to make our own decisions based on extensive research and take our own small calculated risks.

Pleased to have that out of the way and just to repeat we wouldn't dare knowingly put others at risk.


So the plan is not a plan, just three or four loose ideas that are as fixed in this rapidly changing world as anything can be. Then about a half dozen things to do and places to go we would like very much to achieve.

First fixed plans:

Ride the Texas Eagle end to end. We want to arrive in the US as late as possible to allow as much time from now for things to settle. We need to be close enough to get to the Gathering if it happens, therefore north to south. This forces the TE trip to happen first due to other arrangements we may make later in the journey, this way round gets us to the right location to give maximum flexibility around the Gathering dates and after.

Visit some friends. If something this virus has taught us is to properly value those you like and love.

Have got to get to Memphis, I just have to visit the Dr King centre there as one of my lifetime ambitions

Be in the US at the time of the US Presidential elections, I'll leave the politics there.


On leaving the Los Angeles / San Diego area we are making vaguely for the mid-west with 3 route options including via Sacramento. Then to the south east to Huntsville and maybe to the Space Coast to stay on Cocoa Beach again, watch Manatee, visit Dorthy and Hubby and visit the Space Centre.
Then to Memphis and along the Mississippi to St Louis then back to Chicago and friends to the north of there. From there maybe to the UP, then across to Syracuse, NY, then NYC then fly back.

The Denver to Raton section was an idea to use on Thruway buses as against Greyhounds although I do know that Amtrak sometimes use Greyhound. We both love riding Greyhound but the last two rides a year apart we took we both caught a bug, so at the moment will give Greyhound a miss.

Previously we have taken a Thruway bus from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo, that was some of the best travelling we have done.
If the Denver to Raton journey is interesting and scenic then that may be the way we go, will also research all the options others have put forward too, great getting inside information.

That's about it, a loose plan that isn't even a plan yet, but may be if things work out.




That paints the picture, thank you




Renting a car is usually the last option as we enjoy public transport wherever it's possible. We do rent when there is no other option but as hard as it is at times we will always opt for public transport fist.




Yes southbound, just enough daylight in that journey, then breakfast in Raton.




In my experience in the last 2 or 3 years greyhound windows have in general been cleaner than Amtraks




Of course you are right JIm, but we have to hope don't we. And anyway, who on this forum keeps shouting at me to book it.
After the last two memorable visits to you, not sure you would want a third!




I think you know us too well Jeb, it's a mixture of both in your first sentence. Some interesting ideas in you post, I'll look through them carefully, and thank you for writing all the options out for us.
As usual a very good post Jamie!

And since several AUers are hoping to ride the Texas Eagle to the Gathering( well, to LAX),wouldn't it be a Hoot if you and Rosie were on the same Train with us and yall were actually "in the pink" as you came through Austin!🥰
 

v v

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I've ridden the DEN>RAT and RAT>DEN connections and they get as close to the mountains on I-25 as one can get without being in the mountains. Southbound/westbound most passengers go back to sleep for the first hour. In the summer the only part of a round-trip in the dark is the last half-hour through Denver.

Regarding cleanliness, I've never had complaints. The bus is serviced in Denver overnight and turns in Raton. There have been complaints about the through Dallas <> Denver buses that provided the connections DEN<>KCY<>CHI, for obvious reasons. In the last pre-COVID schedule they had been discontinued, so that solved the problem.

The Raton buses serve both the Denver Bus Center and the Denver Union Station. The latter has better security. Thruway buses and Bustang (CDOT) buses use Gates B3 and B4. I assigned them to those gates because they are close to the Amtrak Tracks 3 and 4 and have benches. Up to the COVID interruption that has worked well enough that none of my successors have messed with that.

The transfer is in the Raton Intermodal Station (yep!) and there are restaurants and a saloon within a short walk in case of a wait for Amtrak (see last photo).

View attachment 17252View attachment 17253View attachment 17254

Check EVERYTHING after COVID shutdowns, as public services like to de facto discontinue or restructure things when the service has been disrupted. The DEN<>RAT connection itself was a result of the 1997 discontinuance of the Desert Wind.
Wow! and thank you
 

v v

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As usual a very good post Jamie!

And since several AUers are hoping to ride the Texas Eagle to the Gathering( well, to LAX),wouldn't it be a Hoot if you and Rosie were on the same Train with us and yall were actually "in the pink" as you came through Austin!🥰
Can only hope so to all of that.
 

niemi24s

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FWIW, just tested a booking from stations either side of Denver to Raton for this November and the last possible date of 9 Mar 2021 and no bus connection was shown as an option. CZ to Galesburg transferring to the SWC for the leg to Raton was the only offering. Maybe that means there won't be a Thruway bus connection for you.

And if your coming to the UP is for the Fall colors, get here before the middle of October. Otherwise all those leaves may be on the ground under a layer of snow! And we do get snow up here. Got about 185 inches so far where I live with 5 to 8 inches in the forecast for Monday. Hot-diggity!!
 
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v v

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Can only hope so to all of that.
At the moment it looks like departing CHI on either the 2 or 4 October, does that tie in with your plans?

Edit: Or perhaps the 6th as there is a decent price drop. Arrives LAX at 5:35am on the 9th, easily possible to get to San Diego by lunch time if the TE is on time.
 
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v v

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And since several AUers are hoping to ride the Texas Eagle to the Gathering( well, to LAX),wouldn't it be a Hoot if you and Rosie were on the same Train with us and yall were actually "in the pink" as you came through Austin!🥰
Meant to quote this Mr Dylan
 

tgstubbs1

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I don't think there are any realistic routes south from Denver other than I25.

I have been on the SWC and one of my favorite parts was Raton Pass. I think it's more interesting on the train than I 25.

I live in Pueblo and I wish the train would come here.
I would take the bus to Trinidad and ride the train thru the pass!
 

railiner

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I don't think there are any realistic routes south from Denver other than I25.

I have been on the SWC and one of my favorite parts was Raton Pass. I think it's more interesting on the train than I 25.

I live in Pueblo and I wish the train would come here.
I would take the bus to Trinidad and ride the train thru the pass!
I think most of us would do that too.
The reason they make the transfer at Raton instead of Trinidad, is because the bus can do the pass in less than half the time the train takes...that gives the bus a better, more reliable connection to the train, in case the bus is delayed for any reason.
 
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railiner

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What's your opinion of the route shown in Post #9?
I like it...it's certainly great scenery, but I think the idea was to use only public transit, if at all possible. There used to be bus service on those other roads, but not any longer...at least not all of them...
 
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