Topping Cumbres Pass. Coming out of the shadows of Tanglefoot Curve, a D&RGW Freight enters the evening sunlight at the 10,020 foot-level....the summit of Cumbres Pass. Shortly, she'll cross Colorado State Highway #17 and pull into the yard where the locomotive can take water and the crew can grab some coffee and a quick meal. In this re-creation, produced by Lerro Productions, the power on this train is Locomotive #485, the only one of the 10 K-36s which does not survive to the present day. The original Number 485 was involved in an accident back in December of 1953, when she rolled off a turntable stub and into the pit in Salida, Colorado. The resulting damage was considered so difficult to fix that she was parted out to support the rest of the fleet. The representation of 485 seen here is really #489, which was carefully detailed by Pete Lerro and crew, specfically for this charter. Interestingly, the odd-looking, inclined track you see in front of the photographer was installed by the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for the purposes of unloading railroad equipment from flat-bed trucks. It was used extensively in 2010 to move equipment from Chama to Cumbres Pass after a fire temporarily closed the Lobato Trestle. This track has also been used to offload visiting rail equipment, such as RGS Motor #5.
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.