Early morning Cumbres Turn. The sun is still perhaps 30 minutes or more from cresting the hills to the east, but the crew of this D&RGW K-36 has already been up for hours putting together a Cumbres Turn in the Chama Yard and beginning the run up the 4%. Here, the train of pipe gons rounds the very pronouced S-curve just south of the Colorado Border, where in 1926, this very same locomotive suffered a fatal derailment accident.
This image was captured during a 2016 freight charter organized by the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The train pictured here is not doing a photo run-by, but rather is actually doing a no-kidding Cumbres Turn, bringing a large cut of cars to the summit for a charter which will start shortly after sunrise on Tanglefoot Curve.
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.