Photos from Colorado Rare Mileage Trips

Alamosa, Colorado

Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29, 2006

The Fall 2006 SARM rare mileage train rides were on the recently formed San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad and the historic San Luis Central Railroad. Located in south-central Colorado in the San Luis Valley, both lines serve the agricultural industries of the area.

The newly formed San Luis & Rio Grande is made up of former Denver & Rio Grande lines west of Walsenburg to Alamosa, and then south to Antonito and west to Monte Vista. These were some of the last narrow gauge lines rebuilt to standard gauge. Alamosa was the headquarters for the lines on to Durango.

Beginning in 2006, the SL&RG began passenger excursion service over La Veta Pass to La Veta and also to Antonito. The trip SARM operated on October 28, 2006, covered these routes plus the rest of the SL&RG lines that were in service.

A website by Chris Guenzler describes the trips on the SL&RG and the SLC.

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On October 26th, much of Colorado was hit with a severe snow storm, with 10 to 20 inches of snow falling in many places. As our staff finalized details on the 27th, we visited Walsenburg, Colorado, and took this photo of the joint Rio Grande - Colorado & Southern passenger station as the skies cleared.

Arriving in Alamosa, we found that only a slight dusting of snow had fallen and was melting in the sunshine. The former DRGW station and division office building still stands and is used as office space by the city. We used the platform as our boarding location.

Friday afternoon was spent putting our passenger train together, working out final details on the weekend's plans, and playing tourist as many of our passengers explored the area. This photo is of our SL&RG train waiting for Saturday's trip.

Saturday's trip began at Alamosa just before sunrise and headed toward Monte Vista, the west end of the active SL&RG track. Here, as the power ran around our train, we conducted the first runby of the day.

The train is back together, the air brake test is complete, a few final photos, an "All Aboard", and we are off eastbound to Alamosa, La Veta, and to the end of the SL&RG track near Walsenburg.

After passing through Fort Garland, we followed Wagon Creek up to La Veta Pass. The snow got heavy and the scenery impressive as we passed the siding at Sierra.

At La Veta Pass, known as Fir by the railroad, we made a photo stop on the big horseshoe curve. The train was in view for twenty minutes as it backed down the grade several miles to Sims and then came back up the hill.

All photos this page by Barton Jennings.

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This page last revised: June 7, 2007