Vintage Doubleheaders is a rare treat with some of the oldest engines in America, all operating on 3 foot rails of the host railroad, the 64-mile Cumbres & Toltec scenic railroad. Two of these were woodburners, in the form of 2-6-0 Glenbrook, and 4-4-0 Eureka & Palisade #4. Both of these engines live in Nevada and rarely operate except at the museum in Carson City. They were both trucked to Antonito for this event, and were paired for each of the runs during this multi-day event. Wood was staged along the way, and extra water supply between regular tanks on the line.
The other two engines that star in this show are Denver & Rio Grande 4-6-0 #168, and 2-8-0 number 315, which was backdated and renumber 425. These two were made to appear in the early 1900's during the D&RG days. These two are operating on their former Rio Grande tracks.
Here is a rundown of the trips that were covered.
August 20, 2021 was the day before the event kicked-off but we see the 4 engines and a few more in Antonito before the big event started. This includes some close-ups.
August 21, 2021 The 168 and 425 operated the first train from Antonito to Big Horn and back. Only one scene was made of this train at Ferguson's Trestle. However later in the day we see Glenbrook and Eureka on some break-in runs near Antonito in gorgeous afternoon lighting. During these runs we learn the history of both engines.
August 22, 2021 The 2 Woodburners, Glenbrook and Eureka make their first trip from Antonito to Big Horn and back. This is a trip that was chased, and we see 489 first on the regular passenger train, followed by the special excursion. One of the best locations was watching it at Whiplash curve on 3 levels of track. We end this day with the Doubleheader departing Big Horn for Antonito. There were no trips on August 23, 2021
August 24, 2021 we enjoy some riding footage onboard the train led by 168 and 425 that went from Antonito to Osier and back. After a runby at Big Horn, we see the regular train pass with K-36 number 489 once again. At Osier we see both engines before and after turning on the loop. Then 168 does a runby at the Water Tank before returning to Osier. We get a look inside the Tourist Sleeper number 470, which was part of the historic period passenger coaches on this trip.
August 25, 2021 was another run to Big Horn with the 2 Woodburners. This time we are aboard the train and see runbys at Ferguson's trestle and see loading wood at Lava, where wood and water cars were positioned. Then we see several runbys around Big Horn and eastward back toward Antonito. Runbys were held at Whiplash curve on the lower section, and another one at low light.
August 26, 2021 Eureka and Glenbrook made a roundtrip from Antonito to Osier, and we chase this one. The runby's are at Fergusons Trestle and again around milepost 305 east of Sublette. Later there is a shot of 489 on the regular train.
August 27 was a big day as both doubleheaders ran across the entire 64 mile railroad from Antonito to Chama. We ride the passenger train with 168 and 425, and photograph it at runby locations, as well as the two woodburners on a short period freight train. We see each train multiple times, and even see 489 on the regular passenger train at one point. Scenes around Los Pinos valley, and water tank end this day.
August 28, 2021 was a doubleheader of the 2 woodburners from Chama to Cumbres. However there was a mechanical issue and the trip terminated at Cresco. We have only a couple scenes at Cresco on this day.
August 29, 2021 was the final day, which was a doubleheader at night across the railroad from Chama to Antonito. We show some night scenes riding the train on the 4% segment from Chama to Cumbres and you see the smoke illuminated at times from the opening of the firebox of 168 and 425. Plus you see the headlight shining ahead in places. The sound is strong here as well.
August 30, 2021. In the sunrise of August 30th there are final runby scenes with 168 on the overnight train (425 was the helper and taken off at Cumbres the night before) at Ferguson's Trestle with lovely backlit and sunnyside scenes here bringing the event to a close.
As you can see from the in depth description above there was a lot going on, and a variety of locomotive and trips for the enthusiasts to enjoy. There is also a cameo appearance of Rio Grande Southern 4-6-0 number 20 at the end as it was not part of this event, but would run later. This event will likely never be run again and it was a mammoth task to pull this all together. There is a lot going on in this rare video. Get you copy today.