Rock slide blocks Cumbres & Toltec tracks on July 4; route back in operation today

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A rock slide blocked the tracks of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad on Monday, but the historic train was back in operation today (Tuesday, July 5). COURTESY C&TSR

SANTA FE – A rock slide shut down a portion of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad on Monday but the railroad had all routes operating again as of this morning (Tuesday, July 5).

The rock slide sent several large boulders down onto the tracks  sometime before 10 a.m. Monday – the Fourth of July – near Rock Tunnel, between Antonio, Colo., and the railroad’s scenic Osier Station, according to a news release from the railroad.  The slide prevented a train departing from Antonito from making its to way Osier Station for a lunch stop.

That train was able to turn around at a siding and return to the Antonito depot.  A train departing from Chama – home of the bi-state railroad’s southern depot – was able to get through to Osier, and passengers were returned to Chama.

No one was injured and crews were able to work throughout the day to clear the huge boulders from the tracks, said the news release.  All trains and routes were in full operation as of 9:15 a.m. today.

“We apologize to all riders who were not able to enjoy the complete line on July 4, but these things happen when you run the most authentic steam railroad in the nation,” said John Bush, C&TSR president.

“When you offer Rocky Mountain scenery such as we do, sometimes Mother Nature plays a role,” he said.

Jointly owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico, the Cumbres & Toltec is the highest and longest steam railroad in North America, running 64 miles from Antonito to Chama.

The railroad was built in 1880.

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This rock slide blocked tracks on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad between Antonito, Colo., and the railway's Osier Station on Monday. (COURTESY C&TSR)

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