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Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

This historic steam train runs daily in the summer months between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO.  Climbing the Cumbres Pass at over 10,000 feet elevation, this narrow gauge railroad is sure to delight people of all ages.  Specialty routes occur at various times during the year including some condensed routes including Cinder Bear, Thomas the Train, and the Christmas train with Santa in winter.

Location:

Northwest of Albuquerque in Chama, New Mexico

The Scoop

We had some adult friends visiting from PA in the month of October and everyone was interested in riding the Chama train. So we added it to the itinerary.  We combined this trip with a visit to Abiquiu and a night’s stay at the Ojo Caliente Spa and Resort. Please see our Ojo Caliente Sidetrack and Ghost Ranch Sidetrack for more details. This made a really fun getaway for all of us.

 

We made sure to arrive at the train depot well in advance of our departure time to make sure we would not encounter any problems (we made reservations in advance and got seat assignments the day prior). Parking was ample and check in was a breeze.   At the train depot, there is a restroom and a small gift shop.  They do allow backpacks on the train with food and drinks which is nice.  We rode the train on a beautiful fall day wearing layers with a jacket along in our bags.

 

The staff was friendly and informative during the various sections of the trip up to Colorado.  We split our time between sitting in our seats and standing out in the open car area enjoying the fall foliage and beautiful mountain scenery.  This outdoor spot is a great place to spend a lot of time if you like to take photos.  If you hang out long enough in the outdoor gondola car, you will certainly see soot flying about and some can get on your clothes, but all of this is part of the steam locomotive experience.  You feel transported in time with the classic looking parlor cars and toot of the train whistle as you hum along up the steep passes into CO.

 

We enjoyed an optional substantial hot lunch midway in Osier, CO served by friendly C&TSRR staff.  This was just half of the trip they offer. We were not on the full day that trip that continued on to San Antonito. The train ride back to Chama was relaxing and with full bellies, some of us were lulled to sleep.  Another option is to shuttle back to Chama from this midway point by bus.  Everyone had a very enjoyable day riding the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Train and it was a highlight of our friends' visit to NM!  For more information on Chama, please see our Chama Sidetrack.