Steam, narrow gauge worlds mourn loss of Ernie Robart

RELATED TOPICS: STEAM PRESERVATION
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ALBUQUERQUE — The western steam and narrow gauge preservation communities today are mourning the loss of a long and remarkable fixture in their worlds: Ernie Robart has passed away.

Robart was an early advocate for saving the Colorado narrow gauge, and his work ultimately led to the creation of today’s Cumbres & Toltec Scenic. He was among the group that reactivated the railroad in 1970. He was an outstanding photographer and documented the last days of the Rio Grande’s narrow gauge freight operations. His images were the highlight of an evening of entertainment during Trains magazine’s August 2018 “Last freight over Cumbres Pass” photo charter event.

He was the past treasurer for the New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society, and just last summer hand painted the huge numbers on the tender of restored Santa Fe 4-8-4 No. 2926.

Robart was stricken Dec. 18 while driving on I-40, and passed away Dec. 24. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.


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