© 2021
In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

You Can Learn How To Drive A Steam Train

CC0 Public Domain

People on the High Plains can learn how to drive a steam train, just by taking a day trip to the Colorado-New Mexico border.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, the Cumbers and Toltec Scenic Railroad dates back to the 1880s and is the highest and longest steam-operated railroad in the country – a National Historic Landmark – that ferry tourists between Chama and Antonito Colorado every day during the summer and fall seasons.

And to top it all off, a four-day class is available that will teach you how to operate your own train – separate from the one that gives the tours.

But be prepared to do some homework. Before the class ever begins, students must read hundreds of pages of manuals. But instead of earning a grade, the payoff is scenic -  the train travels through alpine meadows, aspen groves and a rock face to the 10,000-foot Cumbers Pass Summit and then along the 800-foot Toltec Gorge, where the train follows the Rio de los Pines river.