Venerable steam engine returns to mountain haunts

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Former Denver & Rio Grande Western No. 315 leads a photographers' special.
Jerry Day
ANTONITO, Colo. — Former Denver & Rio Grande Western No. 315 will steam over Cumbres Pass along with a few dozen passengers in June on photo freight specials chartered by the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.

The charter originates in Antonito, Colo., on June 3 for the 64-mile trip to Chama, N.M., and returns on June 4. Passengers can ride one day or both and return to their departure station by motor coach.

"We are offering a daily fare so participants may purchase just one day or both if so desired," a Friends statement says. "We are limiting seating to 45 passengers per day. This will provide us an opportunity to offer more runbys."

Runby locations and the full schedule are still being worked out.

The fare is $225 each day for Friends members and $275 for non-members and includes lunch plus water, soft drink, and snacks. Reservations can be made by calling the Friend's office in Albuquerque, N.M., at (505) 880-1311 or online in the Store/Charters section of the Friend's website

Baldwin built the 2-8-0 in 1895 for another Colorado narrow-gauge line, the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad, as its No. 3. After a 1912 flood led to the demise of F&CC, No. 3 sat idle until 1917 when the then-Denver & Rio Grande bought it and four sisters, according to the Durango Railroad Historical Society, which completed a six-year restoration of the engine to operating condition in 2007.

The consolidation, saved in part by its movie appearances, had last operated in 1949 and is now owned by the city of Durango, Colo.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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