National Register of Historic Places in Rio Arriba County
The following is excerpted from the National Register Nomination Form submitted in 1973.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad consists of 64 mile of three-foot gauge railroad track situated along the Colorado-New Mexico border between Antonito and Chama. In addition, there are nine coal-burning steam locomotives, one hundred thirty cars of all types including maintenance equipment; a typical railroad yard at Chama, and the various sidings, water tanks, and related lineside structures associated with operation of a steampowered railroad.
The condition of the rails and roadbed is generally good, as is the condition of the two operating and three repairable locomotives. Most of the rolling stock is in fair-to-poor condition, and the lineside structures are deteriorating badly.
At Chama, the western terminus, there is a yard facility with 16,961 feet of sidings, a water tank, a coaling tower, a sand house, an ash pit, stock loading pens, a wye, a frame depot and sundry related structures. Condition of the structures ranges from poor to good.
The physical appearance of the railroad is much the same today as it was in 1880, when the line was built, except for the size of the locomotives and the weight of the
rail. The overall scene in the remote areas has not drastically changed in over 80 years.
The Cumbres & Toltec right-of-way runs through Archuleta County, Colorado on its way to Antonito in Conejos County, Colorado.
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was also built by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in 1881 and 1882. The tracks between Chama and Durango was abandoned and rails were removed by 1971.