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  Trip Report: The C&TS - Back in Action - Chapter 1
  Double-Header to Cumbres
Morning, 3-Aug-2002
  From: The C&TS - Back in Action Dates: Aug 3, 2002 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
The first sight of the morning after leaving the Narrow Gauge Inn - 487 being prepped in Antonito, CO.
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Photo 2
Even though it was raining most of the day, fire protection is still the rule. Now, if the truck would just start...
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Photo 3
About 1015h, we're finally on the move just outside Chama, NM. 497 and 463 are double-heading up to Cumbres Pass.
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Photo 4
Another of the safety measures in place is these tank cars behind the power. They water the right-of-way to hopefully prevent any sparks from taking hold. They also do a very good job of watering railfans...
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Photo 5
No problems so far, and the rain has even let up a bit as the train heads up the mountain along New Mexico 17.
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Photo 6
Rain hasn't deterred the fans a bit, though - probably 15 cars are following that Saturday's run out of Chama.
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Photo 7
As the train heads towards Lobato through this famous curve, it's starting to drizzle a bit again. It's kind of a rare sight seeing a morning train on Cumbres in the rain.
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Photo 8
Moving away from the horde of fans lined up along the fence, the train slows to a stop for Lobato.
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Photo 9
The Lobato Trestle isn't strong enough to safely support the weight of two locomotives at once, especially when one of them is a gargantuan K-37 class. So, as with every double and triple header, the power is taken over one at a time.
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Photo 10
Especially for those shooting video (with sound), there's no escape from this thing...
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Photo 11
With the train back together and climbing again, the train passes over the grade crossing for a gravel road my maps simply mark as 445.
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Photo 12
Well, I haven't seen any forest fires, but that grass sure is pretty...
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Photo 13
Let the problems begin! A broken brake hose stops the train on a stiff grade just south of Cresco and the state line.
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Photo 14
With the hose fixed and a full brake test performed, the train slides backwards initially while the two units slip repeatedly in an effort to get moving again on the wet rail.
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Photo 15
Finally getting a foothold, the two continue up through the S-curve towards Cresco and the Colorado/New Mexico line.
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Photo 16
Just shy of the west Cresco switch, problems once again are about to show up. Another brake hose separation, along with the realization that a brake linkage has snapped on the tank car, CATS 0472.
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Photo 17
The troubled eastbound continues its journey near Coxo, just below Windy Point.
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Photo 18
Almost at the summit, 497 and 463 skirt around the ledge to Windy Point, CO.
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Photo 19
After a long trip up, the train finally slows to a stop at the Cumbres Pass station. The helper will be unhooked here, and the water car set out for repairs.
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Photo 20
The truck with the failed linkage. Note the position of the front brake shoes. Apparently it's not too severe, though, as the idea is to haul it back to Chama and have the shop guys weld it.
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Photo 21
With the big K-37 cut off and out of the way, little K-27 463 slowly drags the crippled car forward to set it out on the leg of the wye.
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All the images here are Copyright 2002 Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net)
Note this doesn't mean you can't use them - In fact, I encourage people to use and enjoy them.
I'm placing them under the same license as RailARC images. Please feel free to copy, use, and distribute anything you find here, as long as I'm given credit for its creation.
All shots in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS D30 with a Sigma 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 lens or a Canon 75-300mm f4-5.3 IS/USM.