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Friday, 22 May 2020

Cumbres & Toltec

The 64 mile 3 foot gauge Cumbres & Toltec Railroad connects Chama in New Mexico over the 10000 feet high Cumbres Pass & runs along the edge of the Toltec Gorge to Antonito in Colorado.

The photographs below are courtesy of Dave Hewitt:

Chama shed with 3 Baldwin built mikados, 483, 484 & 463
Ten K-36 class 2-8-2 locos were supplied to the Denver & Rio Grande in 1925, nearly all of which are operational on either the Cumbres & Toltec or the Durango & Silverton.   There's some K-36 detail on Wikipedia.   463 is a rarer & older Baldwin K-27 class - see Wikipedia for detail & screen appearances.
Note several crossings of the state line & the crinkly shape - it's 3' for a reason!
Head out with Dave below, but for excellent views & map of the journey follow this link.

In 2015 Dave Hewitt followed & photographed the daily train as far as the road allowed:

The daily 10 am departure from Chama .....
..... & leaving town - that snowplow is needed at times
K-36 No.489 heads out on the level .....
..... before starting the climb - note the scenic open car - for 64 miles!
Nearing the summit of the Cumbres Pass
Descending the pass
Running alongside the road for the last time, blowdown valve open, ......
...... before heading off into the wilderness
A 1920s freight is presented at Antonito, headed by an ex-Baldwin
standard gauge 2-8-0, rebuilt as a 3 foot gauge 2-8-2
The photographs above are courtesy of Dave Hewitt 

Follow a detailed map, sites and sights on the Cumbres & Toltec

The Cumbres & Toltec web contains quite a lot of detail.

The US 3' gauge is covered well on Wikipedia, including the Cumbres & Toltec.

Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec have an interesting website which includes advertising for volunteer work sessions.

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