ANTONITO — The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad will begin its 49th season on May 25, with authentic, coal-fired steam locomotives departing daily from both Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico. The authentic and historic steam railroad, jointly owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico, will operate through October 20.
The Cumbres & Toltec is a National Historic Landmark that moves – a museum on wheels -- and was judged by USA Today 10Best to be the No. 1 train ride in the nation.
Full day trips include a delicious lunch stop at Osier Station, high above timberline. There are nine different ticketing options and all trains have rest rooms on board.
OPENING DAY SPECIALS ON MAY 25
Opening day on May 25, 2019 will offer the added thrill of not one, but TWO special double- headed trains. Trains pulled by two steam engines are extremely rare in the 21st century.
Opening day will feature double-header trains departing from both Chama, NM and Antonito. Passengers will have the rare thrill of witnessing four steaming locomotives together at the scenic Osier Station lunch stop, half way between both starting points.
HISTORY OF THE RAILROAD
Originally built in 1880, the railroad is part of the Denver & Rio Grande Western, San Juan extension, designed to connect silver mining towns in the San Juan mountains with Denver. It was traveled by Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and almost every famous outlaw and gunman in the Old West. Indiana Jones grew up next to the railroad, and frequently hopped a ride on circus trains. At least, he did that in the film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The house in Antonito that stood in for Indiana Jones’ boyhood home is now a B&B and you can stay in Indy’s house before riding the train. The Cumbres & Toltec featured prominently in last year’s Hostiles, starring Christian Bale. Seth MacFarlane rode the train in A Million Ways to Die in the West and Jason Momoa produced two Carhartt commercials in Chama, NM and Antonito, CO. For more on the history and the importance of railroading in America, watch the short film about the Cumbres & Toltec appearing in the National Geographic Short Film Showcase: The Railroader.
RAILROAD SPECIALS FOR 2019
Just some of the special trains to be steaming in the Rockies in 2019:
May 25: Opening Day, double-header trains will depart from Antonito, CO and Chama, NM. 9 a.m. ceremonies in both Antonito and Chama, NM feature dignitaries from both states and local entertainment with a southwestern flair.
June 16: The Geology Train: This special once-a-year train will depart early from both stations and include stops with geologists to examine some of the unusual formations along the route. Geology Trains are available from both Antonito CO and Chama NM.