C&TS October 2016 - A Life Chasing Trains

This visit included three very different trips during a spectacular fall color season, all of which made it particularly interesting.  On Monday October 3 Rich Tower sponsored a private excursion for a small group from Antonito to Chama with the 315 and a short stock train.  On Tuesday and Wednesday,  the Friends sponsored first two Cumbres turns with the 463, and then on Wednesday the 489 took a third cut of cars up the hill early in the morning and then hauled a long 30 car train to Osier and return replicating the long eastbound one engine trains of DRGW days that looped around the big curves at Tanglefoot and Los Pinos.  Finally on  Thursday and Friday Dave and Jean Gross sponsored a Silverton mixed on the D&S.  It was a busy, amazing week with a great variety of photo ops with four different classes of power and very different kinds of trains on two railroads.  However there were mixed emotions.  It was Dave and Jean Gross' last D&S charter.  They had threatened previous charters would be a "last", but finally it looks like this really was the last one.  One of the problems is long time D&S chief conductor Rich Millard lost his job due to a small fire set by the charter train. And perhaps worst of all  I had hoped to see old friend Jim McClellan but found out he had injured himself falling and later passed away.