North America’s most spectacular train journeys

May 31, 2022


CNN: North America’s most spectacular train journeys


Alllllllll Aboooaaard!! A ride on opening day

July 13, 2022

Alamosa Citizen




Under Steam – Cover Story

June 9, 2021

Santa Fe Reporter

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad rolls across generations, through the pandemic and on to the future…

On the Right Track

July 2021

New Mexico Magazine

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad kept chugging through the pandemic, and this summer introduces a newly renovated locomotive plus five retooled passenger cars.

Colorado Sun: A historic San Luis Valley locomotive…

April 5, 2021

Colorado Sun

Experts from across the country converged to restore Engine 168 for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad straddling the Colorado-New Mexico border.

Cumbres & Toltec prepares for 51st Season…

March 4, 2021

KOB-4 – “This year is looking up for a lot of reasons that we’re all kind of following but really this year we’re opening up on June 5, out of Chama May 29, out of Antonito to allow some of the snow to clear on the New Mexico side,” said Eric Mason, interim CEO of the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad….




All Aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

August 22, 2020


Travelers can rent their own rail car to socially distance on the train that runs between Antonito, Colorado, and Chama, New Mexico.

Watch Now

It’s ‘all aboard’ again for these scenic train rides after closing for coronavirus

July 5, 2020

USA Today

After being closed during the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of scenic train rides have once again given the “all aboard!”

Ready to roll: The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is back in business again

It’s not easy to stop a locomotive. The coronavirus did a pretty effective job of sidetracking the 50th anniversary runs of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, which were scheduled to start on Memorial Day weekend, but the virus failed to derail the historic railroad’s golden year.



A journey through time in the American West

November 23, 2019

CBS This Morning


A train that brought settlers and prospectors through the American frontier almost a century and a half ago is still chugging along, taking railroad enthusiasts and fascinated tourists on a unique journey through the American west. Barry Petersen learned how the passion of a few people helped the railroad survive.

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Best Scenic Train Ride:  Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

May 31, 2019


Readers choose New Mexico/Colorado railroad as the best

Readers choose New Mexico/Colorado railroad as the best

Sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination. Such is the case for passengers who step aboard these 10 American trains – nominated by a panel of travel experts and voted by 10Best readers as the best in North America.




One of the most authentic steam-operated railroads in existence, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad runs for 64 miles between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado, passing through the San Juan Mountains and the scenic Conejos Valley along the way. This moving National Historic Landmark represents one of New Mexico’s most spectacular day trips.
Photo courtesy of Kim Todd


The top 10 winners in the category Best Scenic Train Ride are as follows:


  1. Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
  2. Strasburg Rail Road
  3. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
  4. Capitol Corridor
  5. Cape Cod Central Railroad
  6. Rocky Mountaineer
  7. White Pass & Yukon Route Railway
  8. Mount Washington Cog Railway
  9. Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic
  10. Cass Scenic Railroad

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning trains!


Smoke, Steam and Steel

January 3, 2018

Huffington Post

There is nothing quite so romantic as a steam train — the sound of a steam whistle echoing off the mountains, the huge plumes of smoke billowing in the air, the chug-chug-chug as the pistons hiss and steam, the clickity-clack of the wheels as they roll over the points, the cars swaying back and forth.

Santa Fe – Why it’s So Popular with Visitors

April 17, 2018

Go Nomad Travel Blog

Fans of old-style steam locomotive trains should not miss a ride on the Cumbres and Toltec two hours north of Santa Fe. Climb aboard and smell the coal burning and hear the old steam whistle.

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad roars to life for 2018 season

May 21, 2018
Fox21 News, Colorado Springs

About three hours southwest of Colorado Springs, just north of the New Mexico border, is a tiny town called Antonito. There, you can hitch a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, the nation’s highest, longest and most authentic steam railroad.

10 July 4th Weekend Trips You Can’t Miss

Sunset Magazine

Fall in love with train travel on the Cumbres & Toltec 4th of July Dinner Train, a five-hour sunset ride along the Colorado-New Mexico state line. Don your star-spangled best and hop on this 1800s steam locomotive for an evening that includes dinner at 10,000 feet, a patriotic clothing contest, and epic scenery.

A Colorado too few know – The San Luis Valley


As the two billowing plumes, one white, one black, shot up into the air with loud hisses, we all oohed and aaahed. Our six-hour journey on the longest and highest narrow gauge steam railroad in the United States was just beginning.

Railroad President John Bush interview by KOB’s Khalil 

Good Day New Mexico (KOB-Albuquerque)

Khalil sits down with John Bush President of Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

A guide to Colorado’s spectacular wildflower season

5280 Magazine
August 2018

Take in the view from the comfort of this locomotive, which chugs past the wildflower-speckled alpine meadows surrounding Cumbres Pass—the highest pass (10,015 feet) crossed by rail in the country.


Popular Mechanics

April 3, 2017

7 of the World’s Most Stunning and Scenic Train Rides

The 10,015-foot-tall Cumbres Pass in Colorado is the highest mountain pass accessible via rail in the United States. And that’s just part of the historic Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, first operated in 1880 as an extension to the Rio Grande Railroad.


Around the World in Eighty Years

June 18, 2017

Steam Train Trips: The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

“Long time readers of this blog know that my kids and I are fans of old steam trains. I thought that, as the kids get older, they would lose interest in steam train trips. Hellsfire! I’ve got a teenager now! But no. In fact, they still love the steam train trips.”

Colorado Public Radio & NPR’s Here & Now

July 24, 2017

Want to Drive a Steam Train?

In the thick of swirling plumes of coal-fired smoke and greasy engine parts, 11 men, mostly middle-aged and clad in blue overalls and steel-toed boots, are getting ready for a day of class. Everyone’s standing in the tiny rail village of Chama, New Mexico, gazing at clanging, heaving locomotives.

Great Big Story

October 1, 2017

All Aboard the Last Authentic Steam Railroad

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, in Chama, N.M., operates one of America’s last steam trains. With its coal-powered steam engines and a top speed of 20 mph, this train isn’t going to win any races. It might, however, take your breath away as it crawls through some of the country’s most stunning scenery.

GO World Travel

October 12, 2017

Chugging into the Past: The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

The rhythmic sound of wheels hitting rail is loud, but strangely soothing. We’re aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, and the route has taken us across open prairie and up into the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Thrillist Travel

October 17, 2017

8 Ridiculously Charming Train Rides to Take This Fall

More than spring and summer, autumn is a cheap time of year to take a trip for the pure scenery of it. From Napa Valley to New England, you can find plenty of rail trails that make for a prime leaf peeping getaway.

Fox21 News, Colorado Springs

November 6, 2017

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad’s Santa Train collecting toys, food items for Toys for Tots, food bank

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TSRR) will once again be running Christmas Santa trains to collect food and toys to distribute to those in need in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.



April 28, 2016

Your Opportunity to Drive a Train Through Hollywood History

The train scenes in 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” were filmed on the Western tracks of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.

Global Traveler USA

June 6, 2016

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Review

Two long whistle signals announce the release of train brakes. The locomotive chugs forward with telltale clouds of smoke spewing from a sooty stack. Ever so methodically, the engine puffs away, turning hot-fired coal into harnessed steam energy.

New Mexico Magazine

September 1, 2016

Do the Locomotion

“From this point on, it’s 1880. You’ve gotten on a time machine and you’re going to be on it until we get to Chama.” With that, John Bush, president of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, settles into the open-air gondola car heading west in the morning chill.

AAA EnCompass Magazine

September 1, 2016

Consider letting another driver—specifically, a railroad engineer—guide you through aspen stands so intense you’ll need sunglasses. Several railroads in Colorado take you on rides that not only display great color, but reveal colorful history as well.

The Travel Channel “Roam” Blog

September 22, 2016

Fall Leaf-Peeping for Lazy People

When the trees take on fall colors, leaf peepers jam the roads. That’s when a drive to see the leaves turn scarlet, gold and pumpkin-orange becomes as stressful as your daily commute. Your outing can be a lot more peaceful and fun when you opt for a lazy way to see fall foliage.


USA Today

USA Today, July 2, 2015

Rail Fan Fantasy

Hands sweating in borrowed leather gloves, I slowly ease the oversized brass lever toward me with an odd-sounding combination of brute strength and finesse. Ronnie Lopez nods encouragingly. “Just a little more,” he says, his own gloved hand ready to grab the hot metal control if I mess up.