C&TS rotary snowplow OY takes an important trip

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Cumbres & Toltec 2-8-2 No. 463 pushes rotary OY toward Cumbres Pass Thursday.
Charlest Weston
CHAMA, N.M. – The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad’s Denver & Rio Grande Western 1923 rotary snow plow OY made its way to restoration Thursday with a trip across the 64-mile narrow gauge railroad from Chama, N.M., to Antonito, Colo.

In April, the railroad announced that it would be using the OY rotary in late February or early March 2020 to kick off the railroad’s 50th anniversary year. The rotary has not been used since 1997.

C&TS Assistant General Manager Stathi Pappas says the rotary is in “remarkable shape” but that it does need some mechanical and cosmetic work. The railroad will do most of the mechanical work and the Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad will spearhead the cosmetic work.

The railroad used former Denver & Rio Grande Western K-27 No. 463 to push the rotary from Chama to Cumbres Pass, where it was turned on the wye and placed at the rear of the train. Bush says the plan to push the plow up Cumbres Pass and pull it downhill from there is both for safety and the unique photo opportunity.

The railroad says dates for the 2020 operations have not been made. The railroad plans to use the rotary over two days to clear as much of the 64-mile railroad as possible. The railroad is offering a limited number of tickets to see the event and those who are interested in attending are encouraged to send an email to rmartinez@cumbrestoltec.com.

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