ANTONITO — To help make the holiday season a little brighter for those in need, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TSRR) will once again be running holiday trains to collect food and toys to distribute in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. The one-hour rides are free for children and only $5 for adults (ages 12+). A donation of either a non-perishable food item or a new boxed toy per person is requested.
Last year, the railroad collected more than 5,500 pounds of food and 1,000 toys, which were all distributed in the San Luis Valley of Colorado and in northern New Mexico.
The highest and longest narrow gauge steam railroad in America is owned jointly by the states of Colorado and New Mexico with stations in both Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico. This is a wonderful opportunity for families to experience the thrill of a steam locomotive in winter, while also helping those in need in the community.
There will be two different opportunities to experience the C&TSRR Christmas Trains, either departing from Antonito on Dec. 9 or 10 or departing from Chama, New Mexico on Dec. 16 or 17. The Antonito departures will climb the foothills of the San Juan Mountains to the Ferguson Trestle and back, while the Chama departures will run to the Lobato Trestle and back. Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with children onboard and Santa’s elves will serve complimentary hot chocolate and cookies during the ride.
All food and toy donations are distributed to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation from Antonito and the Antonito Food Bank to recipients in the local area. Food and toy donations in Chama are distributed locally by the Chama Fire Department Toy Collection and the local Chama Valley Pantry operated by the Rio Arriba County Echo Food Bank.
HOW TO BOOK: To make your reservation on the C&TSRR Christmas Trains, go to http://cumbrestoltec.com/schedule-fares/special-events/ and click on the Christmas Train link or call the train depot at 888-286-2737. Train rides start at 10 a.m., with the last train departing at 4 p.m.
About the C&TSRR
Built in 1880, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is the longest and highest steam railroad in America and carried more than 38,000 riders in 2017 on the most authentic steam railroad in the nation, traveling 64 miles across rugged mountain scenery between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico, crossing the state borders 11 times. The railroad will begin regularly scheduled service with trains departing daily from both stations on May 26, 2018.