American Heritage Railways to Operate the C&TS

From the Durango Herald:

An oral agreement was reached Tuesday between Harper and the chairman of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission, which operated the railroad for the states of Colorado and New Mexico, which jointly own the railroad.

The agreement tentatively calls for American Heritage Railways to operate the line for five years, Harper said.

. . .

“We really believe we can do some great things for the Cumbres-Toltec,” he said. “It’s already a great railroad, and we’re just going to open it up to give more people an opportunity to enjoy what it has to offer.”

Trestle Fire on C&TS

From KRQE TV in Albuquerque comes word that there has been a fire on Lobato Trestle on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.

Officials do not know when started the fire as of right now, however New Mexico State Police Lt. Eric Garcia said there were aerial fireworks in that area around 9 p.m. Wednesday. Witnesses said they heard an “explosion.” About an hour after they hear this, the trestle was on fire.

According to Garcia, the bridge is still burning as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Press release here:

The fire was reported to the Chama Fire Department shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday night. Fire crews and railroad workers rushed to the scene and worked through the night to extinguish the blaze.

The Denver Post also has the story:

The Colorado-New Mexico tourist route has been disrupted, with partial service only at the Colorado end of the line until repairs can be made.

Quintana said when railroad personnel and firefighters from Chama arrived at the trestle shortly after 11 p.m., the entire 310-foot span was in flames.

“It got us in the gut,” said Quintana.

He said the trestle is still smoking this afternoon.

More information as we get it.

View Larger Map

D&RGW no. 315

John West has updated his website with photos of the Durango Railway Historical Society’s ex-D&RGW 2-8-0 no. 315 operating on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. They start here – see the rest by clicking the ‘next’ link, then enjoy the rest of John’s photos from around the world.

Drew Jackish has also posted photos of no. 315’s June trips between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO at

No. 315 will be operating on the C&TS three days in July – see the Schedules page for more details.

View Larger Map