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C&TS Ridership

October 14, 2007 07:27PM
Today was the last day of the 142-day regular operating season for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, and has been the case for the past several weeks, the trains were packed. In the early weeks of the season there was very little growth in ridership compared to last year. But as the season progressed the comparisons improved, with the October passenger count 24% ahead of last year. We'd like to think our intensive sales and marketing efforts orchestrated by Gayle Martinez, our new Director of Marketing, assisted by West Agency of Santa Fe had a lot to do with this. But we'd admit there might have been help from Mother Nature, who produced one of the most beautiful fall color seasons in recent years.

Ridership on regularly-scheduled trains was 42,815 or 11.3% ahead of last year. Total ridership so far this year, including charter operations, is 43,164, or 9% above last year. We still have a an additional charter train plus the popular Christmas trains before the calender year ends.

Highlights of the season include the popular children's "Cinder Bear" trains (27% more riders than last year) and our first class "Parlor Service", up 28% over last year despite a substantial fare increase to cover service improvements and increased capacity. Next year, we'll expand our season an extra week and operate additional family-themed trains, so we hope for continued increases in ridership.

But one of things we're proudest of isn't reflected in these numbers. It's the improvement to our track, the foundation of our railroad. Thanks to capital grants from our owning states Colorado and New Mexico in the past two years, we've been able to install over 20,000 ties and 25,000 tons of rock ballast. After many years of deferred maintenance, we are making real progress in restoring our track. And the result is a smoother ride, less wear and tear to the equipment and, most important, increased safety. Now that we've developed a skilled track maintenance workforce, we're hopeful we can expand this rehabilitation program in the next few years.

We thank our dedicated employees, the bi-state C&TS Railroad Commission, the governments of Colorado and New Mexico, and all our revenue passengers, friends and supporters for another great season.

Richard Tower
C&TS Management Corp.
Subject Author Posted

C&TS Ridership

rltower October 14, 2007 07:27PM

Good News

John Sporseen October 14, 2007 08:14PM

Re: Good News

michael October 14, 2007 08:36PM

Re: Good News

John Sporseen October 14, 2007 09:01PM

Re: C&TS Ridership

olarmy October 14, 2007 08:45PM

Re: C&TS Ridership

rltower October 14, 2007 09:23PM

Re: C&TS Ridership

John Sporseen October 14, 2007 10:04PM

Re: C&TS Ridership

olarmy October 15, 2007 01:43PM

Thank you, Richard.

El Coke October 15, 2007 02:33PM

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