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Fifty Years Ago, Sunday October 4, 1970

October 04, 2020 08:06AM
On this date fifty years ago, the brand-new Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad operated its very first passenger train, westbound from Antonito to Chama. It barely qualified as a passenger train as there were no purchased tickets TMK, only invitations and a “donation” opportunity somewhere near Big Horn. Both state Governors were invited but neither attended. Because there was no terminal at Antonito (no anything in fact), the train had to be made-up in Chama and dead-headed eastbound the day before, Sat. the 3rd. It was turned at Lava and backed down the 11 miles to the end-of-track. With a total lack of any passenger equipment, the consist was 483, four side-door Pullmans (aka 3000-series boxcars), outfit 04982, four Vista Dome cars (aka three 1500-series open-end pipe gons and one 9600-series pipe gon), followed by caboose 0503.

Sunday was a bright and sunny day in the San Luis Valley, but this being the autumn of 1970 nothing was certain. Here is the train going through the cut at the Big Horn section house site, with a bank of clouds on the western horizon. Typical of 1970 operations, there were people riding just about everywhere. The lower-elevation aspen are yellow but the rabbit brush have pretty much finished blooming; 0503 has been re-lettered for the C&TS:

1970-10-04 C&TS WB Big Horn.jpg

This next image shows the train heading for the traditional C&TS lunch stop, underneath Osier Mountain. As I recall, clouds were now rolling in-and-out fast enough that it was becoming difficult to keep up with the changing film exposure settings:

1970-10-04 C&TS WB Osier Mountain.jpg

In the Los Pinos valley it is now completely overcast and the aspen are fading; the flagpole can be seen on 483 waiting to fly the colors into Chama:

1970-10-04 C&TS WB Los Pinos.jpg

Decending Windy Point toward Coxo, the aspen are a mix of green and yellow, but the weather is still gloomy:

1970-10-04 C&TS WB Coxo.jpg

Finally, here is 483 and the side-door Pullmans heading into Lobato siding, from the north side of the trestle:

1970-10-04 C&TS WB Lobato.jpg
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Fifty Years Ago, Sunday October 4, 1970 Attachments

Tank Smith October 04, 2020 08:06AM

Re: Fifty Years Ago, Sunday October 4, 1970

Fritz Klinke October 04, 2020 08:39AM

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Tank Smith October 04, 2020 03:54PM

Re: Fifty Years Ago Today - Sunday, October 4, 1970 Attachments

Russo Loco October 04, 2020 11:26AM

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Dave Schaaf October 04, 2020 02:04PM

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Greg Scholl October 04, 2020 03:21PM

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Tank Smith October 04, 2020 04:12PM

Re: Fifty Years Ago, Sunday October 4, 1970 Attachments

Tank Smith October 05, 2020 07:00AM

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Greg Scholl October 05, 2020 07:10AM

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Tank Smith October 05, 2020 07:21AM

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guymonmd October 05, 2020 07:11AM

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Tank Smith October 05, 2020 07:20AM

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Casey Akin October 05, 2020 08:38PM

Neat View of C&TS, east of Osier Was: Fifty Years Ago, Sunday October 4, 1970 Attachments

Chris Webster October 15, 2020 06:43PM

Re: Neat View of C&TS, east of Osier Was: Fifty Years Ago, Sunday October 4, 1970

Greg Scholl October 16, 2020 10:34AM

Re: Neat View of C&TS, east of Osier Was: Fifty Years Ago, Sunday October 4, 1970

Russ489 October 16, 2020 07:53PM

Bridges (was Re: Neat View of C&TS, east of Osier Was: Fifty Years Ago, Sunday October 4, 1970)

hank October 17, 2020 09:44AM



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