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Old 11-01-2002, 10:35 AM   #1
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During the dates Oct. 24-27, there was a special charter train at the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad in Chama, New Mexico.

We had decided back in March to attend this event, and made reservations at Twin Rivers Campground. This particular campground is open late into the season and has nice clean restrooms and a laundromat onsite.

As for the actual railroad event, we had a BALL!!!!! It was well worth the money to see everything behind the scenes that keeps the railroad running, and how much needs to be done before next season to keep it running.

We drove down Thursday evening, and after crossing LaManga pass we ran into some real dense fog. So dense we slowed to 20 mph. It was thick like pea soup from the north side of Cumbres Pass to the State Line marker south of the pass. When we pulled over to sleep it was nice and clear. It took us about 5 1/2 hours to get that far, which is about normal. We weren't pushing it, just moving along about 60 (that gives us our best mileage pulling the trailer. LOL)

Friday was nice and clear and the sun shone all day. We had fairly decent weather for taking pictures and wandering around as they switched the various cars in the yard to make up the trains.

Saturday was overcast, sunny, rainy, snowy, thunderstorm, hail, sleet, and most anything else you can think of.

There were two trains scheduled to run and we had tickets for the train at 7:30. The weather started out partly sunny but by the time we got a mile out of town it was overcast. One caboose was heated and that was real nice as the further we went the colder it got.

We got back to the yard about 11:30 and it started to drizzle. We chased the second train, taking pictures of it from the highway, and it continued to drizzle until we got to Cumbres Pass. There the drizzle changed to snow and the longer we were up there the harder it snowed. The clouds started moving in before the train left Cumbres Pass and headed back to Chama pulling 31 cars. As the train rounded Windy Point the clouds and snow had moved in so thick that you couldn't see it, but the sound of the whistle and chugging of the engine cut through it all like a knife.

The train got back to the yard about 5:30 and it was just a light mist there. At 6:15 as we were warming up in the trailer we got pea size hail as a thunderstorm rolled through from the southwest.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and as we drove back the two passes were spectacular with a coating of snow and the bright sunshine. The roads there were dry, with only a couple of places that were slushy.

It was the first time that I had really pulled this trailer over two 10,000 foot passes in wintry conditions, and both the truck and trailer performed flawlessly.

Rich & Kim, Oreo too
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[This message was edited by RichB on November 01, 2002 at 11:06 PM.]
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Old 11-01-2002, 10:35 AM   #2
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During the dates Oct. 24-27, there was a special charter train at the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad in Chama, New Mexico.

We had decided back in March to attend this event, and made reservations at Twin Rivers Campground. This particular campground is open late into the season and has nice clean restrooms and a laundromat onsite.

As for the actual railroad event, we had a BALL!!!!! It was well worth the money to see everything behind the scenes that keeps the railroad running, and how much needs to be done before next season to keep it running.

We drove down Thursday evening, and after crossing LaManga pass we ran into some real dense fog. So dense we slowed to 20 mph. It was thick like pea soup from the north side of Cumbres Pass to the State Line marker south of the pass. When we pulled over to sleep it was nice and clear. It took us about 5 1/2 hours to get that far, which is about normal. We weren't pushing it, just moving along about 60 (that gives us our best mileage pulling the trailer. LOL)

Friday was nice and clear and the sun shone all day. We had fairly decent weather for taking pictures and wandering around as they switched the various cars in the yard to make up the trains.

Saturday was overcast, sunny, rainy, snowy, thunderstorm, hail, sleet, and most anything else you can think of.

There were two trains scheduled to run and we had tickets for the train at 7:30. The weather started out partly sunny but by the time we got a mile out of town it was overcast. One caboose was heated and that was real nice as the further we went the colder it got.

We got back to the yard about 11:30 and it started to drizzle. We chased the second train, taking pictures of it from the highway, and it continued to drizzle until we got to Cumbres Pass. There the drizzle changed to snow and the longer we were up there the harder it snowed. The clouds started moving in before the train left Cumbres Pass and headed back to Chama pulling 31 cars. As the train rounded Windy Point the clouds and snow had moved in so thick that you couldn't see it, but the sound of the whistle and chugging of the engine cut through it all like a knife.

The train got back to the yard about 5:30 and it was just a light mist there. At 6:15 as we were warming up in the trailer we got pea size hail as a thunderstorm rolled through from the southwest.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and as we drove back the two passes were spectacular with a coating of snow and the bright sunshine. The roads there were dry, with only a couple of places that were slushy.

It was the first time that I had really pulled this trailer over two 10,000 foot passes in wintry conditions, and both the truck and trailer performed flawlessly.

Rich & Kim, Oreo too
<font color=blue>F250 Supercab</font>, <font color=#33ccff>Prowler 5ver,</font> <font color=black>TrailAir pinbox</font>
<color=yellow>Solar</font>, <font color=#669966>Makita Genset</font>
<font color=blue>WHR Blue Mesa Ranch,</font><font color=red> Colorado Springs CO</font>

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[This message was edited by RichB on November 01, 2002 at 11:06 PM.]
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Old 11-01-2002, 05:49 PM   #3
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Nice story Rich. Can't wait to experience these same types of geography and weather conditions for ourselves in a few years.

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Old 11-01-2002, 07:10 PM   #4
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Driver,

Why wait?? Start planning now to attend Chama Steam next year.

http://166.82.18.118/chamasteam.html

You can get information at the above website.

Just remember to bring WINTER clothing as those who wore tennis shoes in 5 inches of snow had REAL cold feet.

Rich & Kim, Oreo too
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<font color=blue>WHR Blue Mesa Ranch,</font><font color=red> Colorado Springs CO</font>

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Old 11-14-2002, 05:43 AM   #5
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Great article, Rich. I have been on the C&T trains many times. Are you a member of the 'Friends'? I will probably join after the first of the year. Maybe offer to tour guide a few weekends. (I live up in Longmont.) With all the snow the mountains are getting this winter so far, I am hoping that they have to run the rotary plow in the spring. I will go to see that! Where is the Twin Rivers CG relative to the train station? I have stayed at the RiverBend Motel everytime I have stayed in Chama.

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Old 11-14-2002, 06:43 AM   #6
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I am a Friends member. I seriously doubt that Rotary OY will run for two reasons: one, it's to expensive to run and there probably won't be enough locomotives available, two, it's easier, safer to use the front end loader.

TwinRivers campground is on Hwy 84, just after the tourist information center, as you head back out of town towards Chromo. It's right next to the gas station on the left side of the road.

Usually during the summer I'll stay at Rio Chama Campground just north of the railroad.

I got some of my pics back from this event, they're at http://ngpics.home.att.net

Aslo, I have another collection of photos of the railroad at http://rich.brunnworth.home.att.net

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Old 11-14-2002, 08:35 AM   #7
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That shutdown this summer really hurt. From what I have seen, it looks like the commission is considering allowing the RGRPC to run the RR again in 2003. I hope they get it, as they did an outstanding job this past year in spite of the turmoil.

I would love to join a Friends work session sometime, but alas when I moved out here from PA, I gave up a job where I had 4 weeks of vacation for a job with two weeks, and most of that gets used up in trips back east to visit family.

As I mentioned earlier, I hope to join the ranks of the Friends after the first of the year.

Thanks for the links to your photos! Great shots!

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[This message was edited by conductor on November 14, 2002 at 01:13 PM.]
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Old 01-20-2003, 09:02 AM   #8
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by RichB:
During the dates Oct. 24-27, there was a special charter train at the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad in Chama, New Mexico.

Nice post... You have a talent for writing. If you aren't an author you should try your hand at it.
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Old 01-23-2003, 06:57 AM   #9
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RichB,

Nice train pics. I've done the C&T. Last time we were out the crew let me up in the loco at Antonita. I got to ride around the yard for awhile. Try that at the D&SRR!! I have train pics on one of my websites at http://www.angelfire.com/md2/emhouk/ Ya get 3 pop ups but I can't help that, its free. Would like to move to CO when I retire. Tired of the East and MD taxes. But, we have some nice railroading here. Steam wise EBT and Cass are my favorites.

Good show!!

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Old 01-23-2003, 09:52 AM   #10
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Thanks for the compliments.

I'm going to try my hand at a couple of freelance articles this summer. Maybe one will make it to print.

The C&TS is one of the best narrow gauge railroads in the country. And the scenery can't be beat either.

Rich & Kim, Oreo too
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<font color=blue>WHR Blue Mesa Ranch,</font><font color=red> Colorado Springs CO</font>

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Old 05-14-2004, 06:54 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RichB:

The C&TS is one of the best narrow gauge railroads in the country. And the scenery can't be beat either.

_Rich & Kim, Oreo too
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Hi RichB,

Time to bring the Cumbres article back to the top!

The Cumbres & Toltec gets underway for another year on 5/29! My DS and I will be riding out of Chama on 5/30. We hope to get down there early enough on 5/29 to chase the train Cumbres to Chama.

We will probably be dropping our camper at Mogote Meadows, as I am a little leary of that steep climb up to La Manga pass.

I did join the Friends this year, and may try my hand helping out the guys doing the restoration work in CO Springs.

Maybe we will see you somewhere around the RR?
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:29 PM   #12
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We had a GREAT time last summer also riding C&T. Stayed at the MH Park just North and walked 1/4 mile down the tracks to catch the train! Train goes over bridge just behind MH Park.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:30 AM   #13
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Could you be a bit more specific as to where this is at statewise, sounds lik a great train ride,
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:33 AM   #14
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The trains run between Antonito, CO and Chama, NM. Antonito is located in south central Colorado just north of the New Mexico border. We rode the trains several years ago and are planning a return trip.
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