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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Considering a visit to the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad this summer. The last time I was in Colorado, several years ago, they were running a partial schedule Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun and no steam.

A visit to the website this morning indicates a full schedule and all steam. Is this correct?

That website has the most unreadable maps on the web.


I'm thinking a bus ride from Antonio to Chama in the morning, ride back on the train. Any suggestions.


Thanks in advance,
Craig
 

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This is the year to do it! All four K-36 Mikado's are up and running (alas #483 is still in purgatory and rusting away...) The new Parlour Cars should be ready and the snowfall has been thick enough that the fire danger should be minimal. The line is continuing to be upgraded and a plethora of restored equipment is now residing there! It should be a fantastic trip!
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

Starting in Antonito is not a bad idea. It gets the only boring part of the ride out of the way first and let's you settle into the trip. One advantage of running narrow gauge is that there just weren't too many narrow gauge diesels made so it is all steam. Do allow yourself some extra time to walk around the yards. Both the yards in Chama and Antonito have lots of rolling stock and engines to drool over and you can get up close and personal with equipment. Sun glasses are a must. The temptation to stick your head out the window and watch the engines is too great to ignore and you will quickly discover one of the disadvantages of coal burners. Lots of cinders.

As a treasure hunt, Antonito was originally a dual gauge spot on the line. Look for the dual gauge track and switches. There is still some there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! It does sound like the year to go.

We could not ride it the last time. We had to head back to the hoosierland Thur. Actually had to head to Nebraska City, NE for a Marty open house.


Reading a bit more, it appears Chama has more places to stay, eat and shop plus a bigger yard. Is that correct?

Craig
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

My wife and myself are doing the 2009 convention this year it will be our first g scale convention. We are doing the convention first and then four days to ride trains. Pikes peek,roal gourge,cumbres&toltec and leadville. We already did the georgetown loop and durango&silverton a few years back. Any suggestions for any good things or places to check out while in those areas. Thanks and maybe we will see some of you folks at the convention.
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

One other question should we make reservation in advance for any of the train rides. We will do the pikes peek and royal gourge on sunday, monday do the chama and on tuesday ride the leadville on wednesday head back to denver to fly hime.
 

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Totally jealous of those that get to ride this line!! Having watched a few movies about this railroad, I have put it on my list of trains to ride...eventually. From what I seen, I think I would want to ride from Chama up the 4% grade behind doubleheaders. But I can see the point about getting the flat part out of the way early.
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

One other question should we make reservation in advance for any of the train rides


Best town to stay is Chama by a long shot. Hotel reservations there are kind of tricky in the summer. Besides the tourist, you have a lot of volunteers there working on the railroad. Chama is also pretty and Antonito is...... well lets just say 'not as inspiring". You can also buy your train tickets on-line before you go. If it is high summer, Chama is definately cooler.

As to the yards, both yards have lots of rolling stock and old engines. Antonito has the shops. Chama's yard is a bigger and has other stuff to see like the old railway hotel, the big snow blowers, the coaling tower and more MOV equipment. Both yards are open for wandering around. The shops in Antonito are closed if any work is going on.
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

One thing not noted. The ride from Chama to Antonito the loco is working hard up the hill to Cumbres. If you ride from Antonito to Chama the loco is coasting down the 4% from Cumbres. A very different experience. Scenery on both halves of the line is very good, just different. If you get tired near the end of the day, you will not feel so guilty about missing the flatland on the stretch into Antonito.
jonathan/EMW
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

So, If we wanted to ride the train from Antonito to Chama, spend the night in Chama and then ride the train back to Antonita the following day, can we check luggage or bring a carry on? We would be riding in the Parlor car for sure.
 

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Posted By K27_463 on 02/18/2009 1:57 PM
One thing not noted. The ride from Chama to Antonito the loco is working hard up the hill to Cumbres. If you ride from Antonito to Chama the loco is coasting down the 4% from Cumbres. A very different experience. Scenery on both halves of the line is very good, just different. If you get tired near the end of the day, you will not feel so guilty about missing the flatland on the stretch into Antonito.
jonathan/EMW

Craig,

I would agree with Jonathan.. Ride from Chama to Antonito. The ride up the hill is spectacular. The scenery at the summit is fabulous and when it's time for lunch, the scenery is equally beautiful. As you near Antonito, the scenery is a bit flat and you can nap without missing a lot. Do spend the extra $ and do the parlour car. It's a wonderful ride.
 

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Posted By rlvette on 02/18/2009 3:27 PM
So, If we wanted to ride the train from Antonito to Chama, spend the night in Chama and then ride the train back to Antonita the following day, can we check luggage or bring a carry on? We would be riding in the Parlor car for sure.


RLV...... Just a suggestion..... And only a suggestion. I think it would be better to just ride the train from Chama to Antonito and bus back the same day. That's included in price of the one way train trip and the lunch in Osier is great. If you would want a second ride, head for Durango and do the Durango train to Silverton. Then bus back to Durango. I've done that twice and it's a much better day. The second leg of the trip down from Silverton is later in the day and eyes have a tendency to close after a time. However, that's only a suggestion.. :) :) :)

I've done both rides that way and it was very enjoyable. AND do the parlour car on both rides... Much more better even.. :) :) :)
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

To me, it's worth the money to become a "Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec" member because they often have trips that are not open to the public. For example, a few years ago I went on a photo frieght that went fromChama to Anonito and back--over two days. We overnighted in Antonito. But best of all, because it was a photo freight, the train would stop every so often, let all the photogs disembark, while it backed up, worked up a good head of steam (and lotsa smoke) to come roaring by the photo site. Sometimes, this would be done multiple times. It was the best train ride ever, although, sitting outdoors in a gon, I did ruin my favorite parka from all the soot.

And I third Jonathan's comment. Antonito to Chama is downhill, although this proved problematic on our run as the brakes kept dragging and we'd have to stop to make adjustments. BTW, this was in the Fall and the scenery was spectacular.

BTW take two: Trains Unlimited, or somebody like that usually has a photo freight trip, but it is way more expensive than the Friends version.

Also, for most of these trips the equipment is lettered for the DRGW or whatever.
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

I second what Stan said, w/ a variation: In October last year we stayed in Taos, got on the C&T bus in Antonito, rode to Chama and boarded the Eastbound train back to Antonito. It was the last week of the C&TS operating season. What a treat: a parlor car (free coffee), lunch stop and big buffet meal at Osier, and gondolas so you can hear the stack talk.

Note: our parlor car not heated---dress right.
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

There's a note on their web site to the effect that they are going to run a special with #315 on two days in September. It's ~$800 per person, but a once in a lifetime experience, I'm sure.
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

You mean people actually ride in the cars? I thought everyone rode on the end platforms or on the gondola.

One thing on the C&TS--be prepared for inclement or crazy weather. I rode it once in July, and got chased inside by marble-sized hail. Rode it in October in almost blizzard conditions. Certainly makes for a memorable ride (and sure boosts sales of scarfs and earmuffs at Osier!).

Later,

K
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

As i posted earlier we are doing the g scale convention in denver and then takeing an extra four days to ride trains. We will end up in leadville for a day before heading to the airport.Any advise on sigthseeing while in the leadville area.Thanks.
 

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Hey Paul,

That train ride looks pretty nice. Must be brand new. I never heard of them before.
 

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RE: Cumbres &Toltec Questions

The wife and I rode the train from Durango to Silverton and back to Durango 3 years ago. To see things from a different perspective on the return run allows you to see things you missed or just couldn't see. That is why I would like to do the round trip at the C&T. Also, unless you have children with you, the Parlor car is the only way to go. Otherwise, the seats are like riding on a school bus.

Randy
 
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