It's no secret that during the summer, Chama, New Mexico, has the best morning show around, especially when they have a K-36 Mikado like C&TS #484 lined for Cumbres Pass and Colorado. This video pretty much proves it. Doesn't she look great with the flying Grande on her tender?
If you're sitting there thinking, "I need to get some tickets for that really quick," you're in good company. Dial 1-888-CUMBRES (888-286-2737), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cumbrestoltec.com for tickets. Get it taken care of and start planning it now. Check for discounts too.
However, if you're sitting there watching the video above and wondering, "Does he have to leave the cylender cocks open so long?" or "Firing that lady up the mountain every morning would be a dream come true for me," or even, "What did he mean when he said, 'lined for Cumbres Pass'? How do you line a train?" come aside here for a moment and listen.
Last year, the Cumbres & Toltec had a little known class. I wouldn't be surprised if Soni had a hand in creating it. Here's a little video courtesy Trains Magazine. If that doesn't get you ready for it, there's more cab and ground work below. Looks like B-roll, but anything that I can see about this makes me drool.
I wish I had an able body for me to man the fireman's scoop or whistle for crossings! Have you had enough? No? Here's some more.
What do you think of that? Feel it's worth a few hours in a stuffy classroom?
There's shorter stuff here and here, too. Got you stoked? Ready to call someone to sign up? Good! Call 888-CUMBRES and ask for Ronnica. The price for this education is not cheap. The full three day Fireman Course (2.5 days in the cab) is $1,750. The full three day Engineer Course (2.5 days in the cab) is $2,500. Despite the steep price, I'm pretty sure they're nearly full if not already booked for all the classes. One of the signs of this is that you can't find any real information on it at the cumbrestoltec.com site since it hit the Trains.com wire. Nevertheless, here's the reprinted press release for the 2010 season, courtesy the NGdiscussion.net forum.
Thanks to the C&TS for running a unique and very inspiring program! The surest way of keeping steam alive is education through this school. We're all especially indebted to the patience of people like Ronnie Lopez, who is seen throughout the videos. He seems to have the touch for steam and teaching, something not easily found in one person.