San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad


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Front Door

After the sale to Permian, the new owners, under IPH president Ed Ellis, decided to reestablish passenger service in the valley.  In May 2006 a new excursion service was inaugurated, running passenger trains between Alamosa and Antonito, and Alamosa and La Veta.  Service was designed to make convenient connections with the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, and to open secluded La Veta Pass to passenger traffic for the first time in over 50 years.  Four coaches originally from the Long Island RR were initially brought in to handle the passengers, and the passenger fleet has been growing ever since.  Starting with the 2008 season, a twice-daily coach also traveled between Monte Vista and Alamosa, and the schedules have been changing ever since (recommend you visit their website for current information).
Here's one of the four ex-Long Island RR coaches, now lettered for the San Luis & Rio Grande. (6/30/2006)
Here's a broader view of the western portion of the downtown yard, looking northeast.  Visible are both of the Adirondack Scenic RR open-air cars (see below), as well as three of the maroon coaches and the ex-UP combine that is on loan from the Wagon Wheel Gap tourist line out at South Fork.
Nathan Zachman took this photo of one of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad cars while riding the train.  It's sitting in Occidental siding.  Seating in these cars consists of two rows of benches back-to-back down the middle of the car, facing out.  They function as observation cars. (5/27/2006)  Note: they were repainted in late 2006-- see below.
Another of Nathan's shots, showing the LITTLE RAPIDS side-on in Alamosa.  There are at least two of these cars on the property. (5/27/2006)
Here's a look at the "coach yard" on 1/1/2007.  Near at hand are the two  "observation" cars, spliced by an as-yet-not-repainted coach.  In the distance are the Pullman-Standard coaches.
Coach 2948, awaiting the next season's work.
Coach 2970 has been damaged-- this may be the car that was involved in a truck-train accident during the summer of 2006.  It looks like all the glass is gone from this side, and there's a large gouge in the car at the left end.
Coach 2974, in the yard east of the depot.  It's coupled with No. 2970.
Here's No. 5067, formerly "Little Rapids" (see above), after repainting.  It looks sharp in SLRG paint.  Its mate has also been repainted but lacked the roadname lettering at the time of this photo.
Car No. 5060, at La Veta on 5/24/2008.  This observation car has yet to receive any lettering beyond the reporting marks.  It's configured internally just like No. 5067 above.
Observation car (open) No. 1036, parked in Alamosa on 12/28/2009. It is lettered "LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN".

Prior to the 2008 season, the railroad purchased five full-length dome cars from Holland America.  These cars had been in use on the Alaska Railway and were still painted as such.

Dome No. 508. As of 12/28/2009 when this photo was taken, wore the name MATANUSKA.
Dome No. 509.  I can't quite make out the Alaska name in the photo-- light was backlit...  Photo at Alamosa, 5/25/2008.
Dome No. 511, which wore the name NENANA (also numbered 800124).  Photo at Alamosa, 5/25/2008.

Dome No. 551, named KOBUK while in ARR service. 

Top: Photo at La Veta, 5/24/2008.

Bottom: Interim paint scheme, note the addition of Rio Grande Scenic lettering (12/289/2009).

UPDATE: This car has been refurbished at Alamosa as of October 2011, returned to all-stainless finish, upper nameplate re-installed with IOWA PACIFIC lettering, and car name Sky View. The air conditioner units were removed at this time. Car moved to Chicago for further modifications.

Dome No. 554, named EKLUTNA.  The photo is fish-eyed a little to get the entire car into the shot...  Photo at La Veta, 5/24/2008.
Here's an internal view of the lower level lounge area on car No. 554.  These cars have been nicely maintained, and the appointments are first-class.
Interior of a dome.  There is a variety of seating options, including booth-style tables.  Again, everything is first-class and in good condition.


?  2008, James R. Griffin.  All rights reserved.