Chama, New Mexico, is the western terminus of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Narrow-Gauge Railroad. The entire railroad is designated a National Historic Site. It is the longest narrow gauge railroad in North America, and with a peak elevation of 10,015 feet, it is also the highest. The trains are pulled by original Rio Grande steam locomotives. The railroad has well over 100 historic freight and maintenance-of-way cars, some dating to the nineteenth century. This particular railroad has been in operation for over 120 years.
You can’t get much more authentic than that.
We got into town on Saturday and found a campground about two blocks from the train station. We hiked down to check out the schedule and we discovered that father’s ride free on Father’s Day. Needless to say we signed up. The train runs 64 miles from Chama, NM, to Antonito, CO. It’s top speed is 18 miles per hour and the trip takes about 6 hours with a stop for lunch.
We had to catch a bus the next morning at 8 AM for a one hour ride to Antonito, Colorado. The train left Antonito at 10 AM and stopped half way to Chama at the station in Osier where they had an all you can eat buffet for lunch. As lunch is included in the fare father’s get to eat free. What a deal.