High Desert Wanderer. Just after sunrise, D&RG Consolidation #425 leads a mixed train west out of Antonito, CO, headed for Chama, NM and later, Durango, Colorado, pictured here passing MP 292.5, just west of Lava Tank
The locomotive depicted here is a C-18 Consolidation, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1895, and acquired second-hand by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in 1917 from the defunct Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad. For it's first few years with the D&RG, it was numbered 425, as seen here, but when the railroad later became the Denver & Rio Grand Western, she was renumbered 315, which is the way most narrow gauge enthusiasts know her today. In 2021, for the Victorian Iron Horse Round-up at the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, the locomotive was back-dated to her 425 days, with a new pilot, headlamp and large, D&RG-style gold lettering. In this photos, she's depicted performing for a late-September Lerro Photography event, on the straight-away just west of Lava Tank, showing off the high desert landscape that exists on the east side of the line from Antonito to Chama.
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.