My all-time favorite place on earth is Chama, NM. If God were to custom-make me my own private Heaven, it would be Chama. This remote mountain village is the western terminus of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad but was once a Division Point on the Denver & Rio Grande Western's San Juan Extension that ran from Alamosa, CO through northern New Mexico to Durango, CO. The railroad yard in Chama boasts the worlds largest collection of Rio Grande equipment and a roster of 10 authentic steam locomotives (4 of which are currently operational). This 65 mile long museum traverses some of the most strikingly beautiful and isolated mountain wilderness on the planet.

 

Entering Chama is like taking a step back in time to the mid-1950's when the railroad still operated as a common carrier. In fact, the D&RGW was the LAST Class I railroad in the country to run steam in regular service. The line was shut down in 1968 (I only missed it by a lousy 7 years!!). It was quickly saved by a dedicated group of volunteers and the states of Colorado and New Mexico. Through decades of hard work and many close calls, the railroad today is one this country's premier historic properties. As the Friend's website proclaims, Chama truly is "A Place For Those Born Too Late."

 

Chama Trip Reports

2006

2008

2009

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2009

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2010

 

2011

2012

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2012

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2013

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2013

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2014

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2014

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2015

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2015

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