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19th century steam locomotives operating in the West

By Jim Wrinn | August 27, 2021

Trains Editor Jim Wrinn visits a special steam locomotive festival honoring the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad's 50 years in operation.

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Two old-time steam locomotives double-head on a passenger train.
Two old-time steam locomotives double-head on a passenger train.
Nos. 168 and 425 pull a passenger extra out of Antonito, Colo., on an all day safari into the San Juan Mountains. Jim Wrinn photograph

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic is celebrating its belated (by 1 year due to Covid-19) 50th anniverary with a great gathering of pre-1900 steam locomotives. The event began last weekend and continues through this coming Sunday. Here’s what Editor Jim Wrinn has seen so far.

Historic rail-based equipment in use with several workers on or nearby.
In a rare demonstration of maintenance of way gear that is largely unseen and unappreciated, steam-powered Rio Grande pile driver OB pushes a bridge timber into the ground. Jim Wrinn photograph

 

Four steam locomotives side-by-side in a rail yard near an engine house.
Resident Rio Grande steam locomotives Nos. 425 (also known as 315) and No. 168 pose the Colorado Railroad Museum’s Rio Grande Southern No. 20 and Dan Markoff’s Eureka. Not is the Glenbrook from the Nevada State Railroad Museum. From left to right we have a 2-8-0, 4-6-0, 4-6-0, 4-4-0 and Glenbrook is a 2-6-0. Jim Wrinn photograph
Side angle image of four steam locomotives lined up, side-by-side.
Steam locomotives, both resident and visting, wow the crowd at Antonito, Colo., at the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic’s Victorian Iron Horse Roundup. Jim Wrinn photograph
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