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  Trip Report: Cumbres & Toltec Opening Day 2004 - Chapter 1
  The C&TS - Part I
The First Train from Chama to Cumbres
  From: Cumbres & Toltec Opening Day 2004 Dates: May 29, 2004 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo Guide
This is an updated reprint of my guide from June 2003, but invaluable to understanding the line for those not familiar with the area.
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Photo 1
Under steam and ready for the first day, freshly rebuilt K-36 #487 sits in the Antonito engine bay.
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Photo 2
As I arrived in Chama, 484 had just backed onto the day's train. Not only did the first eastbound train look to be well patronized, but there were plenty of fans and locals about the yard.
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Photo 3
With it shaping up to be another dry season on the C&TS, fire prevention is still incredibly important. If you've ever wondered how they fill the big red waterwagon, here's your answer.
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Photo 4
Since I was about 15 minutes early, I thought I'd wander about the yard and get a few photos of other works in progress. Here's one - K-36 #489, stripped down to the boiler and ready for work.
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Photo 5
And here's more of 489 - a cab ready for rebuild work, sitting next to the cab off 488, which has received much needed attention.
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Photo 6
A diesel-hydraulic yard varmit sitting on the end of a string of cattle cars. All I have to say is... could somebody please number this thing? It sure would make it easier to identify. Not even sure if it runs.
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Photo 7
About 14 minutes after scheduled departure, 484 starts pulling under the Chama coaling tower and out of the yard.
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Photo 8
484 running along the Hwy 17 just north of Chama. Unfortunately the wind was such that the smoke was blowing out in front of the train. Good for the passengers, bad for photographers.
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Photo 9
I joined the rest of the crazy gaggle of photograhers at Dalton to get this shot. Dalton, for those who don't know, is the grade crossing right above Lobato.
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Photo 10
And here we are at the second Hwy 17 crossing... Did I mention that the railfan gaggle had a New Mexico (presumably Rio Arriba County) Sheriff along, and that somebody got the unfortunate distinction of first fan pulled over right before this shot? First time I've seen the law try to police the horde...
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Photo Video 1
A short video clip of the train at the second Hwy 17 crossing (40 sec, 320x240, 1.8Mbyes)
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Photo 11
Can it be considered a day on the C&TS if you don't shoot the S-curve just beyond the second Hwy 17 crossing?
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Photo 12
484 barks up grade just south of the Cresco siding
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Photo 13
And then, just over the Colorado state line, 484 winds through the canyon between Cresco and the third grade crossing near Coxo.
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Photo Video 2
A video from the same spot, watching the train wind through the canyon (45 sec, 320x240, 2Mbytes)
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Photo 14
Climbing out of the canyon towards the third highway crossing and Coxo, we see 484 blowing black smoke as the crew pushes up the four percent grade eastbound.
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Photo 15
484 and Train 2 come off Windy Point into Cumbres, with the Chama valley in the background.
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Photo Video 3
Video of 484 pulling into Cumbres station with the eastbound train (90 sec, 320x240, 4Mbytes)
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All the images here are Copyright 2004 Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net)
Note this doesn't mean you can't use them - In fact, I encourage people to use and enjoy them.
I'm placing them under the same license as RailARC images. Please feel free to copy, use, and distribute anything you find here, as long as I'm given credit for its creation.
All shots in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 10D with a Canon 28-105mm USM or a Canon 75-300mm f4-5.3 IS/USM.