This video begins with a ride on the Durango to Silverton line in June of 1963 behind K-28 number 478. Then we ride a Memorial Day weekend excursion from Alamosa toward Durango with K-36 number 484. We encounter some snow around Cumbres pass heading west. Next is a segment riding behind number 476 (straight stack), which has to be prior to 1956. Then we see some more trackside views of trains on the line to Silverton in the 1960's. All this is when it was still owned by the D&RGW.
Now here is where it gets interesting. This unknown photographer who shot the mainline excursions edited together his eastbound journey.
What we have is a trip where he rode behind 484 on a September 23, 1965 trip that was a small group of around 100 patrons from California. This train was shorter than most excursions, and they did a couple of nice runbys along the trip from Durango to Chama including Monero Canyon, on the section which was torn up in 1970. Meanwhile he chased a trip that was a Rocky Mountain Railroad Club trip on May 31, 1965 which was powered by K-36 #483. He spliced the footage together west to east, and did a pretty good job of it, except one or two which we have fixed. For example there are scenes riding through the town of Monero, then there is a trackside runby of 483 going by the town. As mentioned there are a couple of photo runbys with the train he rode, which are easy to identify because its 484 on a shorter train.
At Chama we see the May trip getting a helper in the form of K-37 number 498 to help 483 up the grade to the summit of Cumbres and 10,015 feet.
We continue to chase the train with 498 and 483, and see on board shots of the September trip as we travel from Chama to Cumbres. There are some really nice scenes throughout this section and in good weather.
After Cumbres we continue eastward riding behind 484 and the video ends as we arrive at the station in Antonito. We do not know the person who shot the footage of the 2 excursions, but he was likely from California, as he also had some SP on the reel. The footage is well shot, and the film to video transfer is good. The color and clarity is very nice, and our narration and music guides you along the route. The last Rio Grande excursions between Alamosa and Durango was 1966, so this was one year before the end.