Tanks for the memories! A line-up of 6 Union Tank Car Company (UTLX), narrow frame tanks sit idle in front of the old Gramps Oil Loading Dock in the Chama Yard in early October of 2016.
Over the last few years, the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad have slowly but surely been restoring a fleet of steel tanks like these. The ultimate goal is to be able to re-create some of the tank trains that ran on the narrow gauge in the mid-20th century. Most of the cars that are currently restored are the narrow frame variety, like the ones seen here, but a few are also the frame-less type that were favored by the Gramps Oil Company and those will be lettered with the giant "GRAMPS" logo when finished. Although a few of these cars are now complete and roadable, many still have some issues that need to be attended to, such as bad-ordered wheelsets. In the near future however, those issues will be resolved and some new and interesting charter possibilities will exist. Although my caption header on this photo sounds a bit like Bob Hope's theme song, we really do owe a great deal of "tanks" to the Friends for the incredible selection of freight cars that now allow us to re-create the memories of the glory days of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Narrow Gauge.
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.