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Engines on the track

Letter from Roger Williams

Transportation – July 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine


How appropriate: that engine on the track in your latest issue is a 4-8-2 Mountain type, with no tender (it wouldn’t go very far), on p. 12. (the engine on the cover is a tenderless 4-4-0 American). Some issues back, the tracks across the top led to a small SUV just like my Suzuki jeep, a 1990 Samurai. It’s been all over the West, and part of the Midwest too.

I tried Google on the San Luis Express and kept getting stuff about Holiday Inn Express. Rio Grande Scenic RR led to

One can go from La Veta to Alamosa or Antonito and back, requiring an overnight stay at the other end, though lodging in Antonito is limited (I stayed in an old hotel there once) and they apparently won’t arrange this.

Alamosa offers lots of options though, and from Denver it’d be easier to stay in La Veta and take the train from there. They used to offer a through train La Veta-Chama including C&TS steam but this isn’t mentioned any more.

If you do stay in La Veta, Highway 12 through there offers a spectacular “Scenic Byway” round Spanish Peaks and back to Trinidad, or you can turn off in the summer and go by Cordova Pass which also offers a trail up West Spanish Peak. (You can also take the Wajatoya Trail from south of La Veta, camp in the saddle and climb both Spanish Peaks; I’ve done both).

La Veta has Circle the Wagons motel and RV park while Walsenburg has the usual hotels or motels.

Roger Williams

rail fan-cum-hiker