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Re: Day Six of the Cumbres & Toltec (Sun., 09/06/70)

September 06, 2015 12:10PM avatar
Per Ernie, on page 65 of Terry's book -
"September 6:  Cold weather changed the rain to snow, and the 10,015 ft. summit of
Cumbres Pass took on a look of winter.  A summit conference at the summit was held,
and the decision made to make the last leg of the trip into Chama.  Some switching was
done so that all of the cars were between the engine and caboose.  The train was backed
onto the tail of the Cumbres wye, where one of the box cars was loaded with ties . . . "
Here are a few of my own photos from that morning as the train was being readied; that's my dog Nikki in the boxcar in the second shot:
700906-15-20.jpg

. . . and here's Ernie's beautiful shot taken just before the 11:30 a.m. departure:
700906-27.jpg
Copyright © 1970, 2015 by Ernest W. Robart - All Rights Reserved.
" . . .  The experienced hand of Ben Greathouse lowered the train down the treacherous 4% grade toward Chama.
At Lobato, two boxcars and two cars of ballast were switched in front of the engine as a precautionary measure
to test the repaired track in 'the narrows' alongside newly relocated highway 17.  The train slowly inched over the
new track as hundreds of spectators watched from the highway . . . "
Here are my snapshots of the descent from Cumbres to Lobato.  The second and third ones are a bit fuzzy due to the dark skies and swaying of the caboose on the uneven track:
700906-27-32.jpg

This one of the crew switching at Lobato has been posted before, but this version is from a more recent and sharper scan:
700906-34-adj.jpg

Ernie's shot of the first C&TS train slowly passing through The Narrows as it followed the volunteers clearing rocks from the tracks is also well known to many of us here:
19700906-33.jpg
Copyright © 1970, 2010 by Ernest W. Robart - All Rights Reserved.

I'm not so sure that there were "hundreds" of spectators, but there were at least a few dozen curious onlookers.

(To be continued.)

- El Abuelo Histœrico, Greengo y Curmudgeoño de los Locomoturas Viejos y Verdes,
aka Der Grossväterlich DünkelOlivGrünDampfKesselMantelLiebHabender




Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2020 12:40PM by Russo Loco.
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