The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad runs from Chama NM to Antonito CO on a preserved portion of the old Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. It is consistently ranked the number one scenic railroad in the United States. Its 64 miles of unspoiled beauty. Its narrow gauge railroading at its best. We love it.
Our friend Grant Luckhardt is a volunteer on the railroad and joined us for a ride on the entire length of the line from Antonito to Chama. The train travels across the Colorado prairie into New Mexico, then thru the Mud Tunnel and the Rock Tunnel, into Toltec Gorge, the Los Pinos valley, Tanglefoot Curve, up and over Cumbres Pass (10,512 feet), around Windy Point and down to Chama. Every trip includes a lunch stop with a large and varied buffet lunch.
The next day we chased the train and we were lucky to find a double-header out of Chama. When one locomotive isn’t enough to haul the train up to Cumbres Pass another engine is added for that part of the trip. We found #464, nicknamed “The Mudhen” coupled with #484 providing the power that day. This is a real treat!
Riding steam trains and chasing steam trains are highlights for any year and 2019 did not disappoint.