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Steam Train Trips – The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Long time readers of this blog know that my kids and I are fans of old steam trains. I thought that, as the kids get older, they would lose interest in steam train trips. Hellsfire! I’ve got a teenager now! But no. In fact they still love the steam train trips. So on Memorial Day weekend we headed off on one of our favorite steam train trips, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway that runs the border between Colorado and New Mexico. Here are some shots from our day on the rails.

(By the way…do you remember that one time I almost got runned over by this damned old train?)

steam train trips

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TSRR) is the highest, longest and most authentic steam train trips in America.  The railroad was awarded National Historic Landmark Designation in 2012 and is owned jointly by the states of Colorado and New Mexico. It runs on 64 miles of track between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico, taking passengers over the San Juan Mountains to the Conejos Valley.

steam train trips

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is known for its extensive collection of rolling stock which can be viewed at both the Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado rail yards. Walking tour brochures are available at both depots.

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad has five operating coal fired, steam operated, narrow gauge locomotives – #484, 487, 488, 489, and 463. Locomotive #489 joined the line in 2008 after an extensive recondition. Locomotive #483 is on display at the Chama station but is not in operation. Locomotive #463 returned to operation in 2013.  Locomotive #168 was acquired in March 2015 from Colorado Springs (where it sat in a park for 77 years).  #168 was moved to Antonito, Colorado in 2015, where it will be restored and put into operation.

steam train trips

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This is the train that was part of the opening scene in the third Indiana Jones movie – and one of my favorite movies ever.. In fact, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad has appeared in almost two dozen Hollywoodfilms, including “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid,” “Indiana Jones,” “The Shootout” starring Greggory Peck, “Wyatt Earp” with Kevin Costner, “Missouri Breaks” with Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson, and “Bite the Bullet” with Gene Hackman and James Colburn and most recently “A Million Ways to Die in the West” with Seth McFarland.

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