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Antonito, Colo. & Chama, N.M.—The public is invited to the National Historic Landmark dedication ceremony, Sunday, October 6, 10:30 to 11 a.m., for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The ceremony will be held at the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Depot, at the Highway 17 & 285 Junction in Antonito, CO. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will speak at the ceremony. 

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Inc. and the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area are hosting the event where the historic landmark plaque will be unveiled. Veteran of Foreign Wars Color Guards, ceremonially dressed, will perform a flag ceremony at the event. At 11 a.m. elected officials and other invited guests will board the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic train pulled by the recently restored historic 463 locomotive.

Former Secretary Salazar was instrumental in seeking out National Historic Landmark sites throughout the San Luis Valley.  The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad San Juan Extension, the Cumbres & Toltec now operates over 64 miles of that route, dates back to 1880.  Colorado and New Mexico purchased the Antonito, CO to Chama, NM portion of the railroad from the Denver & Rio Grande Western in 1970.  It has operated since then as the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and represents one of the best examples of turn of the century mountain railroading. 

Salazar was also instrumental in supporting the legislation for the Sangre de Cristo National heritage Area in Conejos, Costilla and Alamosa counties.  The Heritage Area works to promote and restore historic buildings, provide interpretation, promote scenic and recreational resources and documenting culturally significant components of the way of life in the San Luis Valley.

“We invite the public to join us for this exciting unveiling,” says John Bush, President, Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.  “The National Historic Landmark designation highlights the importance of the historic narrow gauge route adn the vital role the railroads play in American history. I’d like to thank everyone responsible for the National Historic Landmark designation including Secretary Salazar, the National Park Service and the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec.”

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is jointly owned and operated by New Mexico and Colorado. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar designated the railroad as a National Historic Landmark earlier this year. It is the highest and longest authentic steam-powered, narrow-gauge railroad in the U.S. The passenger railroad travels over its historic route between Chama, N.M., and Antonito, Colo.

The Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec have approximately 2,200 members worldwide and oversee the stewardship of the railroad’s historical assets.    

Call 1-888-286-2737 to book or online at



Jennifer Marshall