Rio Grande Scenic Railroad to expand steam operations in ’08
ALAMOSA – The two-year-old Rio Grande Scenic Railroad plans to expand steam-engine service on its tourist trains next year with two newly acquired locomotives.The railroad, which runs trains more than 50 miles east to La Veta and 30 miles south to Antonito, began operations in 2006 with two diesel locomotives and acquired its first steam locomotive in March.That engine, former Southern Pacific No. 1744, went into service on the Rio Grande Scenic in May. It was built in 1901 and restored in 1999-2000.In November, the railroad acquired two more steam locomotives, both built in 1910: the former Lake Superior & Ishpeming No. 18, expected to be in service next year, and former Grand Canyon Railway No. 20, expected to be operating in 2009.The railroad also acquired six passenger cars and a concessions car this year, and added a “North Pole Express” train for the holidays, fall foliage excursions and other special trains.”We’re really pleased that we’re able to bring a little more excitement and capacity each year to the railroad,” said Ed Ellis, president of Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings Inc., which owns the Rio Grande Scenic. —On the Web: http://www.riograndescenicrailroad.com/—Information from: Valley Courier, http://www.alamosanews.com/
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