K-27 2-8-2 number 463 is the oldest regularly operated steam engine on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Enjoy class K-27 number 463 steaming on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in New Mexico and Colorado during September of 2014. The railroad sponsors “Engineer & Fireman School” trains whereby patrons can pay to work on real steam operated trains. First we see 463 on one of these trains which includes freight cars and the short caboose. This locomotive is the oldest regularly operating engine on the railroad, and is the sole surviving example of a K-27 in the region. Our coverage of this train takes us from Chama, New Mexico to Cumbres, Colorado.
The second part of our 463 saga is the “Advanced” Engineer & Fireman School train, which is similar to the regular train, except these folks get more hands-on work learning train handling like switching cars, and working in sidings with switches and back-up moves. On this run we see switching freight cars at 2 different locations and see the train on the Chama wye.
Our third and final segment is 463 in passenger train service as it works with K-36 number 487 on the first Doubleheader of the fall season on the railroad.
The duo looks great and sounds just as good climbing the 4% grade to Cumbres. At Cumbres the helper comes off and takes water (487), and after that we catch-up to 463 as it travels through the Los Pinos Valley headed for Osier and Antonito with the whole train.