So U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn played the role of the Grinch on Christmas Eve eve to Iowa Pacific Holding's Cindy Lou Who, denying the company's request for a temporary restraining order to force Amtrak crews to start operating the new Rio Grande Scenic Ski Train on December 27. The new Ski Train, which announced it would pick up where the old one left off after owner Phil Anschutz pulled the plug and sold the old train at the end of last season, is on hold for at least a week -- and perhaps the entire season.

The grinch who stole the new Ski Train's Christmas (at least for now)

The decision puts the train's 70th season in jeopardy. Iowa Pacific, which operates several other scenic trains in North America, argues that Amtrak upped the insurance requirement to astronomic heights and so went to court on December 23 seeking a restraining order that would have forced Amtrak crews to run the train until the dispute was settled.

Since 13,000 tickets had already been sold, Ski Train spokespeople say buyers can reschedule or get a refund.

A few links on the saga thus far:
On the Edge: All Hail the Return of the Ski Train
Rio Grande Scenic Ski Train
Dec. 24 UPI story on Judge Blackburn denying the restraining order
The Denver Post editorial chastising Amtrak

And for Judge Blackburn and Amtrak, a special reading of  How the Grinch who Stole Christmas by Snoop Dogg:

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