RailPictures.Net Photo: DRGW 315 Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Steam 2-8-0 at Cumbres, Colorado by Kevin Madore
 
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Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (more..)
Steam 2-8-0 (more..)
Cumbres Pass Section House (MP 330.60) (more..)
Cumbres, Colorado, USA (more..)
August 26, 2016
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
DRGW 315 (more..)
Work Extra 315 (more..)
Kevin Madore (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
Servicing in the Cumbres Yard. After a pretty arduous climb up the 4% grade out of Chama on wet rails, we see the Durango Railroad Historical Society (DRHS) crew servicing their locomotive at the Cumbres Pass standpipe. One crewmember is capping the tender tank, while another shuts off the water to the standpipe. Shortly, the crew will begin a series of switching moves, assembling an eastbound train that they brought up here in a couple of sections.

This operation, staged at the 2016 C&TS Narrow Gauge Rendezvous event, was very typical of the way in which the old Denver & Rio Grande Western operated back in the early 20th century, when narrow gauge freights were common over these rails. Several cuts of cars would be shuttled from Chama to Cumbres, often using several locomotives to get the job done. In the days when little Consolidations such as 315 were the primary power, there were often 3 locomotives on each Cumbres Turn, and given the limited power of each engine, even those multi-engine trains weren't all that long. After several dozen cars were assembled on the pass, a single train was put together, and a single locomotive would take the resulting consist east down the much shallower grade to Alamosa, Colorado, where a connection to standard gauge trains could occur.

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