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The Way We Really Were

Photo by Virginia McConnell Simmons
Photo by Virginia McConnell Simmons

By Virginia McConnell Simmons

April showers often brought more snow than May flowers for I-think-I-can narrow-gauge railroads. Winter blizzards and snow slides often upended estimated times of arrival, and in January 1884 a D&RG train was marooned for two weeks east of Cumbres Pass, while passengers cooked dwindling food and even washed clothes on the coach’s stove until rescuers arrived. A century later on the pass, on May 25, 1983, a rotary plow, pushed by several locomotives, was still clearing drifts in preparation for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad’s tourist season.