Concerns Expressed for Everyone Affected but Wildfires Not Impacting Historic Train
ANTONITO, COLO & CHAMA, NM, June 3, 2018….The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad expresses its concern for the people affected by the Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado wildfires, but continues to operate all trains as scheduled. The historic steam train, which runs 64 miles of track between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico, is not impacted by the wildfires, which are more than 100 miles away.
“We are sorry to hear our friends at the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad are temporarily ceasing operations and applaud them for exercising caution and putting safety first,” said John Bush, president of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. “We are thinking of the firefighters battling the blazes and everyone affected and will continue to monitor all wildfires and work with the Forest Service to ensure a safe ride for our passengers.”
“Many passengers are calling to see if we’re operating as usual,” continued Bush. “The answer is absolutely yes. We are more than 100 miles from the fires and our trains are running as scheduled. The mountain air is clear along our route and we even had a bit of rain today.”
All season long, the Cumbres & Toltec exercises an abundance of caution and operates vigorous fire safety measures. Each departing train is followed by a fire patrol motor car that carries a water tank and fire pump and tails the train the entire length of its journey. As an added safety measure, the railroad has deployed a second fire patrol to follow the first fire patrol from Chama, NM to the top of Cumbres Pass. As the steepest railroad grade in the nation, the trains must work extra hard along this stretch. Additionally, the Cumbres & Toltec operates a company fire truck and four-wheel-drive tanker. Numerous staff members are also members of local fire departments and all railroad personnel undergo wild land fire training with the Forest Service.
The railroad also employs a strict no smoking policy which staff closely monitor to ensure that important rule is abided.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is the highest, longest and most authentic steam-operated railroad in America. It was awarded National Historic Landmark Designation in 2012 and is owned jointly by the states of Colorado and New Mexico. Steam trains are departing daily at 10 a.m. from Chama, NM and Antonito, CO, and all special trains are on schedule. There are nine different ticket options available to fit everyone’s convenience. For more information or to book a ride, visit www.cumbrestoltec.com.
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