Breakout! After several minutes of hard plowing, Rotary OY and her train finally break through the 3 foot snow pack and onto Colorado Highway 17, with Pilot Marvin Casias leading the charge up in the cab. After a few brief moments to consult with railroad management on the plan, the train will continue into the snowbank on the opposite site and begin plowing a few car lengths. This is to permit the train to move back and forth across the roadway. Just out of view to the right, virtually every fire engine from the Chama Fire Department is waiting in the street to offload water into the tenders of the rotary, and the two pusher engines. Doing that will require blocking the road for perhaps 30 minutes and the train will need to be able to adjust its position to place the tender being serviced in the middle of the roadway. With the water replenished as much as possible and with crew lunches loaded aboard, the train will then depart for perhaps the most spectacular part of its 2-day journey.....the run to Cumbres Pass via Windy Point.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad are all that remains of the legendary Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge system. Here you'll find some of my favorites from these two beautiful railways.