ANTONITO, Colo. — It’s that time of year again!
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TSRR) will once again be running Christmas Santa trains to collect food and toys to distribute to those in need in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.
The one-hour rides are free for children and $5 for adults ages 12 and up. A donation of either a non-perishable food item or a new boxed toy per person is requested.
Last year, the railroad collected more than 5,500 pounds of food and 1,000 toys which were all distributed in the San Luis Valley of Colorado and in northern New Mexico.
There will be two opportunities to experience the holiday trains, either departing from Antonito, Colorado on December 9 or 10 or departing from Chama, New Mexico on December 16 or 17. The Antonito departures will climb the foothills of the San Juan Mountains to the Ferguson Trestle and back, while the Chama departures will run to the Lobato Trestle and back. Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with children onboard and Santa’s elves will serve complimentary hot chocolate and cookies during the ride. Train rides start at 10 a.m., with the last train departing at 4 p.m.
All food and toy donations are distributed to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation from Antonito and the Antonito Food Bank to recipients in the local area. Food and toy donations in Chama are distributed locally by the Chama Fire Department Toy Collection and the local Chama Valley Pantry operated by the Rio Arriba County Echo Food Bank.
To make your reservation on the holiday trains, visit the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad website and click on the “Christmas Train” link. You can also call the train depot at 888-286-2737.
Built in 1880, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is the longest and highest steam railroad in America and carried more than 38,000 riders in 2017 on the most authentic steam railroad in the nation, traveling 64 miles across rugged mountain scenery between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico, crossing the state borders 11 times.