CHAMA, NM and ANTONITO, Colo. — The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TSRR) announced plans to launch its milestone 50th season with a delayed opening, modified schedule and a new policy for ticket changes and cancellations. The historic steam railroad, twice voted North America’s most scenic train by the readers ofUSA Today, will run one train a day, six days a week from June 13 through September 11, 2020, before returning to its full schedule of two daily departures from September 12 through October 18, 2020. If you need to cancel your reservation this season, you will get a full refund if you cancel at least 48 hours prior to your trip.
“Our railroad has been safely carrying passengers by stream locomotive across the Rocky Mountains since 1880,” said John Bush, president of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. “We are thrilled to continue the tradition of steam railroading, especially because 2020 is the railroad’s 50th anniversary of ownership by the states of Colorado and New Mexico and marks 140 years since the first tracks were laid.”
Originally, the C&TSRR’s opening date was scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. The railroad delayed the opening and modified its schedule and policies to better align with expected restrictions surrounding COVID-19. The schedule is subject to change and passengers will be required to follow all current federal and state safety precautions.
Under the modified schedule, trains will leave Chama, NM and head eastbound to Antonito, CO on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Trains will leave Antonito and head west to Chama on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. There will be no train on Monday and no half-day rides. Passengers will park their cars at either the Antonito or Chama Stations and take a 40-minute deluxe motorcoach ride before or after the train to complete the round-trip journey.
“People were riding this railroad before the Statue of Liberty was built or the first National Park was opened,” noted Bush. “This railroad has steamed through our country’s great history, in both challenging and prosperous times. We’ve operated under the watch of 43 Colorado, 41 New Mexico governors and 27 United States presidents. We are grateful to continue our tradition of showcasing the untamed beauty of the Rocky Mountain West as it has been for centuries.”
2020 Special Departures
The C&TSRR will also offer a limited number of special departures in 2020. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and departures are subject to change. Special departures include:
* Geology Train, June 21, 2020. This special once-a-year train features a cadre of distinguished geology experts and special stops to examine unusual formations.
* 4th of July Dinner Train, leaves Chama at 5 p.m., dinner on Cumbres Pass, and a fireworks show, before returning to Chama at 10 p.m. There will be entertainment and a Fourth of July costume contest.
* Wildflower/Botany Train, August 2, 2020. This once-a-year special ride features acclaimed botanists who will discuss the native wildflowers and plants along the route.
* Roundup of Victorian Iron Horses, August 22-30, 2020.The C&TSRR will present a roundup of engines built before 1900 that will run on the line to commemorate this special year. This event will feature at least four locomotives and will be based mostly in Antonito, CO.
It will include several opportunities to ride behind these locomotives on trips to Osier and return. The locomotives will come to Chama for display and operation before the close of the event. The schedule for Sunset Dinner Trains will be announced soon. Note that the sold out Fireman & Engineering Schools will operate as originally scheduled.
Please check the website for up to the minute changes. Historic Re-Launch of the #168 Postponed The first official appearance of historic engine No. 168 has been postponed. The #168, one of only two locomotives of its class left in the world, has been completely restored to its original 1883 brilliance and was slated to return on Opening Day in 2020. Plans for the historic reintroduction of the storied #168 have been placed on hold.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad will announce a new launch date as soon as possible. Advance Reservations Recommended With the abbreviated schedule, many rides on the C&TSRR, especially September fall color departures, will sell out well in advance. With historic equipment, it is not always possible to add additional cars to meet demand.
To ensure that there are seats on the dates you want to ride, the railroad advises to please make reservations in advance atwww.cumbrestoltec.com For complete information, visit: cumbrestoltec.com or call 1-888-286-2737.