NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –A Texas man is living his childhood dream every summer in New Mexico, working as a conductor for the Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad. It all started when David Weston was four-years-old, the first time his dad Charles made the trip from San Antonio, Texas to Chama.
Nearly 20 years later the duo have barely missed a year, traveling hundreds of miles to see the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. “I think we only missed two years in there somewhere,” Weston said. The trips became more than a bonding experience. Weston began forming relationships with the men and women working on board, like conductor Ray Martinez.
In 2018 Weston accepted a job with the railroad, then in 2020 he stepped into a new role as conductor. “By the fall of 2020 I was having my first solo trips,” said Weston. When he’s not on the railroad, the 24-year-old is a student at Oklahoma Christian University, where he is pursing a teaching career. Weston says the jobs go hand-in- hand. “Everything at our railroad is there for education,” said Weston. He says when school gets out for the summer it gives him time to work for the railroads, doing something he loves. “It’s a place that I fell in love for the first time. It’s the railroad, it’s New Mexico, it’s Colorado, just the whole experience out there,” said Weston.
Weston will graduate in April. He says he plans to return to return every summer to conduct the train, as long as the railroad will have him.