Steam, Smoke and Sagebrush under a Mackerel Sky. A long D&RGW freight drag charges west through the wide-open desert of New Mexico on a cool, fall morning, under a gorgeous deck of puffy altocumulus. The two K-36 Locomotives and 35 cars are destined for Chama, NM, and later, Durango, CO.
One of the coolest things about the modern-day Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is the incredible variety of scenery along the 64 mile route. Most narrow gauge fans are very familiar with the forested mountain scenes on the route from Chama, New Mexico to Cumbres Pass, but only those who have ridden this line can appreciate how much that changes as the train works east, toward Antonito, Colorado. The eastern end of the line is indeed a treeless, wide open desert. In between, you'll find the hilly Los Pinos Valley, The spectacular Toltec Gorge, and the rocky, hilly transition to the flat desert. Yes, it's a long train ride, but one you'll not soon forget.
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.