On July 28, 2007, we took an evening ride on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. It was an evening ride (they may have even called it a “moonlight” ride), so the pictures I have are from the first half of the evening before it got dark.
This is a narrow-gauge railroad that has several working steam locomotives. It runs through the mountains on the Colorado/New Mexico border. This particular run took us to a mess hall in Northern New Mexico and then brought us back to Colorado.
Here we are, getting ready to go:
Before leaving, we got to see the workers prepping the steam locomotive, #484.
There was also a caboose in the yard:
There was the option to ride in a closed car or an open car. We were free to move about the train, but with the slight rain and the cooler temperatures in the mountains, we spent most of our time in this closed car.
Along the route was scenery such as this photo. Too bad the day was really dreary and dark.
From the open car, I tried taking photos of the entire train, but it wound around the hills and I could never get a complete shot.
At one point, I stood on the platform of the passenger car closest to the locomotive and tender. I was not able to see much, as the tender blocked my view. I did get some hot cinders in my eye, which, as bad as it hurt, was all part of the experience. I love the smell of coal burning!
We had dinner at the mess hall. I don’t remember it being fantastic, but I remember being hungry.
The return trip was peaceful, and most of the passengers went to sleep.
This was a great excursion and I look forward to our next ride on the Cumbres and Toltec!