RailPictures.Net Photo: DRGW 425 Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Steam 2-8-0 at San Miguel, New Mexico by Kevin Madore
 
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Since added on October 14, 2021

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» Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (more..)
» Steam 2-8-0 (more..)
» Lava Tank (MP 291.55) (more..)
» San Miguel, New Mexico, USA (more..)
» September 28, 2021
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» DRGW 425 (more..)
» Photo Charter (more..)
» Kevin Madore (more..)
» Contact Photographer · Photographer Profile 
Remarks & Notes 
Steamscape: Lava Tank. The early morning sun back-lights the Northern New Mexico desertscape, as D&RG Locomotive #425 charges west with her mixed train, bound for Big Horn, Sublette, Osier and points beyond.

The 425 shows no sign of stopping here today, but that's not because she doesn't need water. It's because in 2021, there's no permanent water supply here. Sadly, Lava Tank is currently the only tank on the present-day Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad which is not operational. That's mainly because this tank was supplied with water from the Los Pinos River, some 500 ft. below the tank location, requiring a pump-house and some serious pumping equipment. While the pump-house still exists, the actual machinery used to get the water up to the tank was removed nearly 50 years ago. There has been talk of restoring the water supply, as an operational tank here would be very beneficial to the smaller locomotives, which are without superheating, such as the 425 here. The newer and larger engines can make Sublette from Antonito and don't need to stop here. So what does 425 do today? Well, during special events involving smaller locomotives, the railroad pre-positions a tank car with water on the Lava Siding, along with pumps and hoses to facilitate watering. Right after the thirsty 425 passed my camera position here, she stopped about 100 yards down the track, where the tank car was waiting.

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