Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad Adventure

North America - Editor - 09 July 2007

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad Adventure

The historical Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TS) was built as far back as the 1880s and has changed very little since then. The Cumbres & Toltec can be found situated in the southern Rocky Mountains where it continues down to this day to provide an excellent example of mountain railroading and steam trains.

Since the 1880s C&TS has kept on running all the equipment and structures associated with railroads and steam trains as it did over one hundred and twenty years ago. The only difference from when it was first built till now, is its load, which has changed from precious metals to passengers. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is 64 miles long and operates five months of the year, from 26th of May to the 14th of October. During this period passengers can take a ride on the C&TS steam train every day of the week, unless there is a mechanical or weather delay. The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad is co-owned and run by the American states of New Mexico and Colorado.

These fully operational steam locomotives take passengers up steep gradients, over gorges, through tunnels and along narrow ledges along the mountainside. The C&TS provides passengers with more than just a picturesque view of the Rocky Mountains, it gives you a unique experience on one of the finest preserved railroads and steam locomotives from the 19th century. There are a number of steam trains you can purchase tickets for, which all include, except for the Cinder Express, a stop halfway for a hot lunch and dessert in Osier, Colorado. The Cinder Express provides a meal, in the form of a lunch box, because the route is shorter and is focused on accommodating children.

It is suggested that all tickets for the Cumbres and Toltec be purchased two weeks in advance rather than waiting in queues at the ticket counter. If you are going to purchase tickets at one of the C&TS stations it would be advised you arrive 8:30 a.m. on weekends and at 9:00 a.m. on weekdays. If you use a wheelchair, notify the C&TS staff when you make your booking so that they can place you on one of the coaches that features a wheelchair lift. It is recommended that you wear layers of clothing to accommodate the varied weather you will experience as you are taken from 7,863 to 10,015 feet. Try riding the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad- it is a once in a lifetime experience.


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