A fresh snow covers the San Luis Valley as this DRGW ng. freight heads south from Alamosa on the three rail branch to Antonito. At Antonito the helper will be cut into the train for the climb to Cumbres. In 1961 this kind of train was a fairly regular twice a week event.
The DRGW narrow gauge was the last major steam operation in the U.S. The climb over 10,000 foot Cumbres pass was spectacular, with two engines handling 70 car trains. Hopefully these images convey some of the drama of mountain steam railroading.