How many people does it take to run a railroad? Well, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad has 80 employees and a team of volunteers to keep it running smoothly from May – October. Usually, each train is staffed with a team of seven employees and one or two volunteers. On each train you’ll find:
- A Conductor: The conductor is in charge of the train and signals the engineer when to go, stop, backup or what speed to go. The conductor also supervises ticket collection and all onboard activities.
- An Engineer: Up in the cab, the engineer controls the locomotive and makes it do what the conductor orders.
- A Fireman: The fireman keeps the fuel going in the engine and watches the water and pressure gauges.
- A Brakeman: The brakeman’s job is to check and handset all brakes on the cars.
- Several Attendants: There are usually three attendants for who run the snack shop and bar and assist passengers.
- Docents: The Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec provide volunteer docents who ride in the gondola care and share interesting information and stories about the history of the train and interesting points of interest along the route.
Of course, there is a whole team in the engine yards, as well as people who work in both the Antonito and Chama Depots, who handle everything from selling tickets to reservations. And let’s not forget the excellent cooks and servers who prepare and serve the delicious hot lunch at Osier Station.
There are many people who work hard at the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad to make sure this important piece of history can be preserved and enjoyed for years to come. We couldn’t do it without them – or you!