Cumbres and Toltec to convert one of its locomotives to oil-based fuel

New Mexico News

CHAMA, N.M. (KRQE) – The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad will convert one of its coal-fired steam locomotives to an oil-based fuel. The railroad says a dryer climate and wind sometimes makes it more challenging to operate coal locomotives. Instead, #489 will be converted to oil firing which is considered more eco-friendly. They say likely guests shouldn’t notice a big difference and the goal is to have #489 ready for use by early next year.

“We plan to have the #489 ready for use in this upcoming 2021 operating season. We have not forgotten, nor will we ever forget, the importance of our historical DNA and the critical role the C&TS plays in preserving the most authentic steam railroading experience available anywhere, now and for future generations. We will strive to always have the best examples of operating coal-fired steam locomotives in service when conditions permit,” said Interim CEO Eric Mason in a news release.

In August, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad was named the Best Scenic Train Ride in the nation. This is the third time the train has won the award from USA Today. The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad runs for 64 miles between Colorado and New Mexico, crossing between the states 11 times.

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