DRGW History and Information  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chama Steam is an annual photo charter put together by Jay Wimer (of the Goat), in cooperation with the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and Bob Manthey-Zorn of Chama's Trackside Emporium. The first trip was back in 2002, with subsequent excursions at least planned every year after that. However, due to the precarious position of the railroad, both from a financial, operator contract, and state of equipment point of view, in many of those interveining years, many of those planned trips wound up cancelled. With the railroad on the rebound, however, Chama Steam V (2006) turned out to be a spectacular success. So, when the announcement went out that 2007 was to have a two day trip covering the entire line both ways - to be known as Chama Steam Fall Madness - I immediately signed up. I've always wanted to shoot a freight train in the high deserts on the east end, and this seemed like a good opportunity.

The original plan was to run a double-header to Cumbres on Sunday morning, and then continue east with a single unit. As a result of 489 taking longer to rebuild than was expected, Sunday's double-header wouldn't be possible, as one unit was still needed for the regularly scheduled eastbound. The powers that be were able to accomodate, though, and instead there was a special double-header on Saturday evening after the regular train got in (so that we could grab its power, in addition to the spare unit in Chama). The weather wasn't terribly cooperative, as Saturday was mostly overcast and raining. In the late afternoon, though, the clouds finally broke, giving way to a little late sun for our trip. This gave us a twilight run to Cumbres, dragging a string of cattle cars to be staged for Sunday. I must say, I've never had as much fun as riding back down the hill on Saturday, when I was able to snag one of the seats in the cupola of caboose 0579.

Sunday was perfect from a weather standpoint - a perfectly clear, crisp fall day. Having stayed in Alamosa overnight, I was running a little late, and when I showed up at 0730h, Alan was trying to get everyone on board for an early departure. Glad I hadn't stopped to grab anything for breakfast! We left about fifteen minutes early, which probably bought us an extra run-by somewhere. We did a few on the way to Cumbres - two at Lobato and one at Hamilton's Point - but mainly got to the top and hooked up the stock cars we'd dropped off Saturday night. In order for things to work out, we had to be into Osier with enough time to eat before either regular train arrived, but we did get runbys at the Long Creek fill and Cascade Trestle.

True to Alan's word, as soon as the west train arrived at Osier, we were lined eastward and off like a shot. This gave us time for run-bys at several spots (Calico Cut, Phantom Curve, and Mud Tunnel) before ducking into Toltec to clear up for the regular eastbound train. From there, we got a couple more shots at Big Horn and Ferguson's (Hangman's) Trestle, and arrived in Antonito about 1730h. Accomodations for the night were included with the trip, and most of us wound up over at the Narrow Gauge Motel.

To give us some variety, the crew moved the stock cars further back in the train as we were preparing to depart Antonito on Monday, and hooked up 484 rather than 488 for the trip back. Monday's weather wasn't so perfect. The day started in Antonito with some high cloud cover, but more dense clouds could be seen to the west. We had decent sun through about Big Horn, and then the clouds started to take over. Not that diffuse light didn't open up other new photo angles, such as the one at Los Pinos in Chapter 5, but was a big change from Monday's fine blue skies. Operations were basically Sunday in reverse - out of Antonito two hours ahead of the regular train, do run-bys, duck in the hole at Toltec for the westbound train to pass us, more run-bys, arrive at Osier as the other two trains are leaving and eat, more run-bys up to Cumbres, and then straight on into Chama.

Monday night's dinner in Chama was included, and hosted by Fosters in their back room. The food was excellent, and it gave us all a chance to eat, drink, talk, and thank everyone for their efforts. I couldn't stay that long, as I had to be back at work on Tuesday, so I left about 2000h.

For the rivet counters, the freight consist was (in no particular order): DRGW 157 (reefer), DRGW 774 (drop bottom gon), DRGW 6200 (flat), UTLX 13084 (tank), DRGW 5691, 5600, 5841, 5633, 5706, 5549 (stock cars), DRGW 6708, 6755 (pipe idler flats), DRGW 1557 (pipe gon), DRGW 04909 (water service car), DRGW 3669 (box), DRGW 6205 (converted rider gon), DRGW 3244 (unlettered, converted to concession/restroom car by the Friends), CATS 214, 205 (rider boxes, ex-DRGW boxcars 3161 and 3475, respectively), and DRGW 0579 (caboose). Power was CATS/DRGW K-36 488 on Sunday and 484 on Monday.

A big thanks to all who made this happen. Of course that includes Jay, but it also includes the C&TS Management Corporation folks, the railroad employees who put up with the long hours and the constant "back it up, that'll do, now bring it forward with medium smoke", the railroad employees running the show (particularly Alan Loomis, who managed to herd cats by getting us all on and off unbelievably quickly and set up incredible run-bys), and many of the volunteers helping out (Ed Baudette, William Diehl, Dave Boyer, Bill Noe, and Paul Uhland). Most of surely would have frozen without Dave's heaters and the fire William built in 0579's stove. I'm sure I've missed a few, and I apologize for that. Thank you all for a great trip.

  May-2013 Reports
   Posted 24-May-2013 by NDH
  Dec-2012 Reports
   Posted 15-Dec-2012 by NDH
  Aug-2011 Reports
   Posted 09-Aug-2011 by NDH
  Jan-2011 Reports
   Posted 30-Jan-2011 by NDH
  May-2010 Reports
   Posted 30-May-2010 by NDH
  Mar-2010 Reports
   Posted 29-Mar-2010 by NDH
  Jan-2010 Reports
   Posted 03-Jan-2010 by NDH
  Nov-2009 Reports
   Posted 08-Nov-2009 by NDH
  Jul-2009 Reports
   Posted 12-Jul-2009 by NDH
  Jun-2009 Reports
   Posted 19-Jun-2009 by NDH
  May-2009 Reports
   Posted 03-May-2009 by NDH
  Dec-2008 Reports
   Posted 27-Dec-2008 by NDH
  Nov-2008 Reports
   Posted 29-Nov-2008 by NDH
   Posted 03-Nov-2008 by NDH
   Posted 02-Nov-2008 by NDH
  Sep-2008 Reports
   Posted 14-Sep-2008 by NDH
  Jul-2008 Reports
   Posted 13-Jul-2008 by NDH
   Posted 11-Jul-2008 by NDH
  Jun-2008 Reports
   Posted 10-Jun-2008 by NDH
  Apr-2008 Reports
   Posted 26-Apr-2008 by NDH
   Posted 15-Apr-2008 by NDH
  Mar-2008 Reports
   Posted 30-Mar-2008 by NDH
   Posted 13-Mar-2008 by NDH
  Dec-2007 Reports
   Posted 27-Dec-2007 by NDH
   Posted 02-Dec-2007 by NDH
  Oct-2007 Reports
   Posted 21-Oct-2007 by NDH
   Posted 07-Oct-2007 by NDH
  Sep-2007 Reports
   Posted 02-Sep-2007 by NDH
  Jun-2007 Reports
   Posted 06-Jun-2007 by NDH
  May-2007 Reports
   Posted 01-May-2007 by NDH
  Feb-2007 Reports
   Posted 22-Feb-2007 by NDH
   Posted 07-Feb-2007 by NDH
  Jan-2007 Reports
   Posted 13-Jan-2007 by NDH
  Dec-2006 Reports
   Posted 21-Dec-2006 by NDH
  Nov-2006 Reports
   Posted 13-Nov-2006 by NDH
  Oct-2006 Reports
   Posted 22-Oct-2006 by NDH
   Posted 02-Oct-2006 by NDH
  Sep-2006 Reports
   Posted 23-Sep-2006 by NDH
  Aug-2006 Reports
   Posted 28-Aug-2006 by NDH
   Posted 04-Aug-2006 by NDH
  Jul-2006 Reports
   Posted 15-Jul-2006 by NDH
   Posted 08-Jul-2006 by NDH
   Posted 02-Jul-2006 by NDH
  Jun-2006 Reports
   Posted 06-Jun-2006 by NDH
  May-2006 Reports
   Posted 08-May-2006 by NDH
  Mar-2006 Reports
   Posted 05-Mar-2006 by NDH
  Feb-2006 Reports
   Posted 21-Feb-2006 by NDH
   Posted 10-Feb-2006 by NDH
  Jan-2006 Reports
   Posted 19-Jan-2006 by NDH
  Oct-2005 Reports
   Posted 16-Oct-2005 by NDH
  Sep-2005 Reports
   Posted 21-Sep-2005 by NDH
  Aug-2005 Reports
   Posted 31-Aug-2005 by NDH
   Posted 11-Aug-2005 by NDH
  Jul-2005 Reports
   Posted 23-Jul-2005 by NDH
  Jun-2005 Reports
   Posted 28-Jun-2005 by NDH
   Posted 15-Jun-2005 by NDH
  Apr-2005 Reports
   Posted 26-Apr-2005 by NDH
   Posted 11-Apr-2005 by NDH
  Mar-2005 Reports
   Posted 03-Mar-2005 by NDH
  Oct-2004 Reports
   Posted 08-Oct-2004 by NDH
  May-2004 Reports
   Posted 31-May-2004 by NDH
  Apr-2004 Reports
   Posted 04-Apr-2004 by NDH
  Jan-2004 Reports
   Posted 11-Jan-2004 by NDH
  Nov-2003 Reports
   Posted 19-Nov-2003 by NDH
  Sep-2003 Reports
   Posted 24-Sep-2003 by NDH
  Aug-2003 Reports
   Posted 13-Aug-2003 by NDH
  Jul-2003 Reports
   Posted 30-Jul-2003 by NDH
  Jun-2003 Reports
   Posted 21-Jun-2003 by NDH
  Apr-2003 Reports
   Posted 19-Apr-2003 by NDH
  Feb-2003 Reports
   Posted 22-Feb-2003 by NDH
  Nov-2002 Reports
   Posted 11-Nov-2002 by NDH
  Oct-2002 Reports
   Posted 27-Oct-2002 by NDH
  Sep-2002 Reports
   Posted 28-Sep-2002 by NDH
  Aug-2002 Reports
   Posted 07-Aug-2002 by NDH
  Jun-2002 Reports
   Posted 22-Jun-2002 by NDH
  Apr-2002 Reports
   Posted 21-Apr-2002 by NDH
  Feb-2002 Reports
   Posted 19-Feb-2002 by NDH
  Jan-2002 Reports
   Posted 14-Jan-2002 by NDH
  Oct-2001 Reports
   Posted 06-Oct-2001 by NDH
   Posted 04-Oct-2001 by NDH
  Sep-2001 Reports
   Posted 02-Sep-2001 by NDH
  Jul-2001 Reports
   Posted 26-Jul-2001 by NDH
   Posted 16-Jul-2001 by NDH
  Jun-2001 Reports
   Posted 23-Jun-2001 by NDH
   Posted 15-Jun-2001 by NDH
   Posted 03-Jun-2001 by NDH
  May-2001 Reports
   Posted 22-May-2001 by NDH
  Apr-2001 Reports
   Posted 02-Apr-2001 by NDH
  Mar-2001 Reports
   Posted 10-Mar-2001 by NDH
  Feb-2001 Reports
   Posted 26-Feb-2001 by NDH
   Posted 18-Feb-2001 by MDP
   Posted 13-Feb-2001 by NDH
   Posted 04-Feb-2001 by NDH
  Dec-2000 Reports
   Posted 02-Dec-2000 by NDH
  Nov-2000 Reports
   Posted 24-Nov-2000 by NDH
  Oct-2000 Reports
   Posted 27-Oct-2000 by NDH
   Posted 26-Oct-2000 by NDH
   Posted 14-Oct-2000 by NDH
  Sep-2000 Reports
   Posted 30-Sep-2000 by NDH
   Posted 03-Sep-2000 by NDH
   Posted 06-Sep-2000 by NDH

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: First, we are absolutely a not-for-profit organization. We are also in no way affiliated with the former Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, except for being fans. If you need transportation services on former Rio Grande lines, please contact Union Pacific. Our eventual goal is to provide a site which will host a variety of railroad information, both for railfans and modellers alike. Thanks to Benn Coifman for the Rio Grande font - it's available at RailFonts. Want to know more about us? Check the ABOUT page...