June 22, 2019 10:02PM
While running special trains, visiting engines, and RGS Geese, and running OY in the spring are great ideas for showing how far the CATS has come in the last half century I hope that special attention is paid to those people who were so important to saving the railroad in the first place. Had it not been for guys like Terry Ross, Ernie Robart, and many others who put their heads together coming up with a plan to try to get the National Park service to buy the railroad, when that didn't work, then they went to work on getting the states of Colorado and New Mexico to buy the railroad from the Rio Grande, it never would have been saved and would have been only a distant memory. Guys like Clarance Quinlin who as a Colorado legislator pulled in every IOU he had ever built up in his career convincing the governor and his fellow legislators to sign the bill to purchase the RR.

New Mexico's Governor Cargo who fought his own staff who were opposed to the purchase. Terry Ross who hand carried the check for New Mexico's share of the purchase arriving at the last hours of the last day of the deadline to Denver making sure the payment got there in time.

The group of volunteers like Chili John, Al Stevenson, Jeff Stebbins, Rich Braden, as well as dozens of others who volunteered their weekends and vacations just to help put the railroad back together after no trains had run in over a year, and the road crews had cut the track at seven places in the narrows and rolled boulders down the hill building highway 17. When Governor Cargo found out about highway 17's mess on the tracks blocking the railroad, he called the state highway chief at 2AM in the morning telling him to "get that highway off of 'his' railroad". Without the efforts of all of these people, there would be nothing left of the narrow gauge, other than the Durango and Silverton segment.

Years ago when Russ Sperry organized the 40th anniversary event, we had a round table discussion with many of the main players who led the charge to get the states to purchase and save the railroad for future generations. I was amazed hearing how they had to jump over, crawl under, or go around 101 obstacles to make it happen, had they not been successful on every one, it would have died there, yet somehow they found a solution to every problem.

In closing, remember it is not just the trains to ride on, had it not been for a VERY DETERMINED group of dedicated people to whom failure was not an option, we would not have a railroad left on which to enjoy next years special events. At the 40th anniversary event we put up plaques in the depots at each end of the CATS with a photo and names of people who's dedication and hard work was instrumental in saving the railroad we all enjoy today. Next time you visit, please find the plaques and read the names of these early saviors and be sure and give thanks for their efforts.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2019 06:55AM by John Cole.
Subject Author Posted

Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

John Cole June 22, 2019 10:02PM

Re: Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

Greg Scholl June 23, 2019 04:54AM

Re: Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

Rich Murray June 23, 2019 06:01AM

Re: Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

Tomstp June 23, 2019 11:39AM

More like a CATS with nine lives

John West June 23, 2019 11:58AM

Re: More like a CATS with nine lives . . . thumbs upthumbs up

Russo Loco June 23, 2019 01:31PM

It takes a Team!

drgw0579 June 23, 2019 05:58PM

Re: More like a CATS with nine lives

John Cole June 23, 2019 09:12PM

Kyle

John West June 23, 2019 09:49PM

Re: Kyle

GeorgeGaskill June 23, 2019 11:43PM

Re: Kyle

Earl June 24, 2019 11:19AM

Re: More like a CATS with nine lives

Rich Murray June 24, 2019 06:41AM

Re: Honor the Founders at the Fiftieth! smileys with beer

Russo Loco June 24, 2019 10:30AM

Re: Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

Volvoguy87 June 25, 2019 07:08AM

Re: Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

johnegert June 25, 2019 10:38AM

Re: Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

AndyA July 14, 2019 07:28PM

Re: Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

John Cole July 15, 2019 12:26AM

Re: Thoughts on marking the 50 anniversary of the CATS

Greg Scholl July 15, 2019 04:59AM

Re: Who's still around for 50th Anniversary of C&TS . . . ?

Russo Loco July 15, 2019 10:48AM

Re: Who's still around for 50th Anniversary of C&TS . . . ?

Earl July 15, 2019 11:04AM

Re: Who's still around for 50th Anniversary of C&TS . . . ?

Russo Loco July 15, 2019 11:09AM

Re: Who's still around for 50th Anniversary of C&TS . . . ?

Greg Scholl July 15, 2019 12:59PM

Re: Who's still around for 50th Anniversary of C&TS . . . ?

Rob483 July 15, 2019 06:15PM

A side question that doesn't deserve a new thread

michael July 15, 2019 06:14PM



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