The Cumbres & Toltec Railroad is a narrow gauge, coal burning steam train. The engine on our train (#489) was built in 1925 and has been lovingly restored.
Jon & I have had a great time riding on the steam trains. One hazard is that because it uses coal, there are quite a lot of cinders in the air. We were warned to wear something to protect our eyes and so we did.
The other major hazard is fire from the cinders falling onto the track or nearby brush. In Colorado, that is a big problem due to the very dry conditions.
The trains are followed by ‘speeders’, very small vehicles that run on the track carrying water & shovels to put out fires. It is kind of odd to look back down the track and see what looks like a secret chase vehicle.
The trains are also followed on the roads by a water tank truck just in case. We passed by it on one of the intersections.
The Cumbres & Toltec Railway runs 2 trains a day. One of the goes from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO and other one does the reverse. Both trains meet at Osier, CO for lunch.
This is the other locomotive. It is running the route in reverse (#484).
We were able to see it from our train when we pulled out after lunch.
Both engines are K-36 type steam locomotive. They have a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement. It means that they have 2 pilot wheels, 8 driving wheels and 2 trailing wheels.