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All the livelong day: Sights, Sounds, and Stories from Cumbres & Toltec Railway

Posted at 6:01 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 20:01:26-04

ANTONITO — 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Colorado's co-ownership over the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in conjunction with New Mexico.

With that in mind, we took a trip down the historical line to delve into some history and hear stories about family ties to the classical line.

Tales told on the train: Four Generations of Railroad Employ

There is so much to unpack with this particular piece of history constructed back in 1880 that it would be impossible to cover it all here. You 100% should visit their website to grab all the classic train-based knowledge your heart could possibly desire.

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad traverses 64-miles between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO. It crosses the borders of Colorado and New Mexico 11 times as it chugs its way up and over the 10,015′ high Cumbres Pass.

The railway burns through tons of coal on each trip and boils thousands of gallons daily to make the historic trip through a country side that is 'off-the-grid.'

This time of year, that off-the-grid wilderness is completely overrun with gorgeous colors from the the changing leaves of thousands of aspens.

Fall Colors Seen from the Cumbres & Toltec
Today the railroad is operated for Colorado and New Mexico by the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission, an interstate agency authorized by an act of Congress in 1974. The Commission is composed of four members, two from each state, appointed by their respective state Governor. The Commission sets the policies for the management of the C&TSRR. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is operated by Cumbres Toltec Operating a non-profit LLC. It handles the daily operation of the railroad and is the project manager on Capital Improvement Projects.

The care and upkeep of the historic assets is entrusted to the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, a non-profit organization.

Their mission is to ensure the preservation of this museum on rails for future generations. The non-profit also has members acting as docents on the train in order to educate passengers on many of the historical aspects of the line.

To learn more on Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, CLICK HERE.

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad runs through October 18th.