This week, native New Mexican and long-time tourism executive Kim Smith-Casford was appointed as a Commissioner of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TSRR) by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Owned jointly by the states of New Mexico and Colorado, the C&TSRR is the longest, highest, and most authentic steam railroad in America, running between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico.
Smith-Casford is the first woman to serve as a New Mexico Commissioner. The railroad is jointly owned by the states of New Mexico and Colorado and governed by a four-person interstate Commission, with two seats appointed to New Mexico citizens and two appointed to Colorado citizens. She fills the position vacated by Bill Lock of Albuquerque, NM.
According to Billy Elbrock, Commission Chairman, “We are thrilled to welcome Kim aboard as Commissioner. She has a deep operational knowledge of the railroad coupled with a proven success record for increasing tourism to the region. We know she will make a significant impact to help us preserve the railroad’s rich heritage and promote the region.”
Smith-Casford has a 45-year background in the lodging industry in Chama, where she owned and operated several properties, including Vista del Rio Lodge. She has worked in various positions with Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for the past 23 years, including Marketing Manager, Administrative Manager, General Manager, Community Relations Liaison and Chief of Staff. During her tenure as General Manager, she received several awards, including Progressive Railroading magazine’s Woman of the Year, and the New Mexico Governor’s Commission on the Status of the Women’s Trailblazer Award for excelling in a non-traditional role.
“Supporting the economic vitality of the Cumbres & Toltec and the Northern New Mexico region has been my life’s work,” said Smith-Casford. “I’m honored to be entrusted to continue this work as a Commissioner and sincerely thank the Governor for this opportunity.”
Smith-Casford is a past Vice President of the Democratic Women of New Mexico, a charter member of the Rotary Club of Chama Valley, serves on the Board of Directors for Las Amigas de Nuevo Mexico, and is an active member of the Chama Valley Chamber of Commerce. She is married, with six children, and enjoys living on a ranch west of Chama.
ABOUT CUMBRES & TOLTEC SCENIC RAILROAD
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad follows the original 64-miles of tracks first laid down in 1880, crossing the borders of Colorado and New Mexico 11 times, as it skirts along canyon walls through Toltec Gorge, burrows through tunnels, steams over Cascade Trestle (137-feet above a roaring river), and climbs to the top of 10,015-foot Cumbres Pass, the highest point reached by any steam railroad in North America. Traveling on the train provides the most authentic look at steam railroading in the 1880s. To book your trip and for complete information, visit: www.cumbrestoltec.com or call 1-888-286-2737.