ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Woman’s family has ties to railroad going way back
The new chief of staff for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad has lived her whole life in Chama and has family connections to the train that go back generations.
Roberta Martinez, hired this week, said both her grandfathers were engineers for the Cumbres & Toltec, and her father still works on the track crew.
“He’s been there 30 years,” she said, “and his siblings were born along the Cumbres line.”
Martinez will work under train general manager Marvin Casias, who is based at the train’s northern terminus in Antonito, Colo. Her duties include hiring and overseeing customer service.
The Cumbres & Toltec is owned by both New Mexico and Colorado and has been running between Chama and Antonito on a seasonal basis for more than 40 years. This year’s season runs between May 28 and Oct. 16.
The Chama end of the railroad suffered a major blow in June when the 128-year-old Lobato Trestle, about four miles north of the town, caught fire. The cause of the fire was never determined. The train couldn’t make the complete run into Chama from Antonito after that, and businesses in the small community suffered.
Martinez reiterated Wednesday the trestle will be fixed by the start of this year’s season. The New Mexico Department of Transportation has hired Reiman Corp. SW, a Wyoming-based contractor whose slogan is “Bridging the Rockies,” to make repairs, and work is expected to begin soon.
Martinez said the train is revamping its website (www.cumbrestoltec.com) and has renovated the reservation system to make booking trips easier. A new marketing campaign is also in the works.