Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, Chama New Mexico

Infrared monochrome shot of Locomotive 492 sitting as a static display in the yards in Chama NM. Originally built as a standard gauge class 190/C-41 in 1908. Rebuilt to 3' narrow gauge class K-37 in 1928. It was sold to the Cumbres and Toltec in 1970. Shot with a converted Nikon D3400. Conversion by Life Pixel to 830nm. This photo was taken in October while at a workshop by Arizona Highways  PhotoScapes led by Kerrick James.

Engine 488 in the Chama yard engine house for steam cleaning and maintenance. 

Locomotive 488, a Baldwin-built K-36 class steam locomotive, has a significant history at the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Constructed in 1925, it served with the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad before joining the tourist excursion line in 1970. Locomotive 488 represents the rich heritage of steam locomotion and continues to operate on the scenic railroad, captivating visitors with its authentic experience.

A Color shot of Locomotive 492 in static display at the Chama yard of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.  Sold to the railroad by the Rio Grande Western in 1970, it never was restored and has sat idle all of these years, but yet, still magnificent, specially in the autumn color of the New Mexico fall.

The engineer watches the switchman throw a switch so they can hook up a string of passenger cars.  Locomotive 489, another Baldwin-built K-36 class steam locomotive, holds a significant place in the history of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Constructed in 1925, it initially served with the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad before being acquired by the tourist excursion line. Locomotive 489 represents the legacy of steam locomotion and operates on the scenic railroad, offering an authentic experience to visitors.


Below is the engineer of the Denver and Rio Grande Southern Railroad built Galloping Goose #5. 

  1. Background: The Galloping Goose #5 is a self-propelled railcar that was created by the Rio Grande Southern (RGS) Railroad. The RGS was a narrow-gauge railroad that operated in southwestern Colorado from 1891 to 1952.

  2. Conversion from a Buick Touring Car: To address the declining passenger traffic and rising maintenance costs, the RGS came up with an innovative solution. They converted a standard 1928 Buick Touring Car into a railcar, which became known as the Galloping Goose #5.

  3. Construction and Modifications: The Buick Touring Car was modified extensively to suit its new purpose as a railcar. The original wooden body of the car was replaced with a custom-built steel body, resembling a small locomotive or railbus. The Galloping Goose #5 was equipped with railroad wheels, a motor, and other necessary components for rail travel.

  4. Operational Capabilities: The Galloping Goose #5 was primarily used for mixed passenger and freight service. It had limited hauling capacity but was able to transport both people and goods efficiently on the narrow-gauge tracks of the RGS. Its unique appearance and sound earned it the nickname "Galloping Goose."

  5. Preservation and Restoration: After the closure of the RGS in 1952, some of the Galloping Geese were sold or scrapped. However, Galloping Goose #5 was fortunate to be preserved. It underwent restoration efforts to bring it back to its original glory and is now a popular attraction and operational vehicle at various heritage railroads, including the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Colorado Railroad Museum.

The Galloping Goose #5 stands as a testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad in adapting and repurposing vehicles to meet their unique needs. Its unconventional design and fascinating history continue to captivate railroad enthusiasts and visitors alike.