Tour 17

(Antonito, Colorado) — Taos Junction — Embudo — Española —
Santa Fe.

Colorado Line to Santa Fe, 119.6 m.

Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad.
Narrow-gauge railroad with rough but adequate roadbed.
NM 74 roughly parallels route throughout
Accommodations in Española and Santa Fe.

The trip on the old narrow-gauge railroad, the Denver & Rio
Grande Western, that runs between Santa Fe and Colorado points, con-
necting with the standard gauge line in Colorado, is such an interesting
trip and has such an old-world flavor, besides affording magnificent
views not possible from any of the highways in the State, that it is a tour
well worth-while taking. It is a funny sort of a road and New Mexi-
cans poke fun at it, although they feel an affection for it, because it is
part of the New Mexico scene and gives such fine, surprising views of
the landscape. After all, there are few, if any, such railroads left in this
country, and it is a tie-up with that lush period of the railroads in the
188o's, since the engine and coaches are of that vintage. Although it
has charm and its own peculiar quality, it does furnish very fast freight
service into New Mexico from Denver, and this service will possibly be
the means eventually of pulling the road out of receivership. A ride
on this train is an amusing experience as well as a delightful one, and
the train serves a definite need in hauling freight.

This is the equivalent of a walking tour by train. The trip may be
made either from Antonito, Colorado near the New Mexico Line by
way of Denver or Alamosa, Colorado, or by round trip from Santa Fe.
There is service every day except Sunday. The trip from Santa Fe,
especially on upgrades, is leisurely enough to give the illusion of walking
through fields of grasses and wild flowers, and this is heightened by
growth right up to the tracks. There are panoramas not seen from any
highway in the State. The road, run into Santa Fe in 1881, has some
of the same rolling stock it had then, although the plush seats have been
replaced by imitation leather and the coaches improved. The fancy oil
lamps hanging from the ceiling still serve on this run, although there are
electric lights that can be used when the coach is hooked up with a train
that has electricity. The trip is made in daylight, but in winter it is
often dark by the time of arrival at either terminus. Small coal stoves
at each end of the coach furnish adequate heat. There is but one coach
in regular service, the rest of the train being made up of freight and