C&TS Fireman School

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#1
Spent last week in the Narrow Gauge steam capital, Chama, NM. I always wanted to shovel coal and learn the operation of the narrow gauge. We had some great instructors and spent 3 days on the train from Chama to Antonito, running the full line from both directions, learning how to fire and maintain the loco. Had a great time and will do it again someday. Our locomotive for the trips was the 484. It ran great and steamed well. We met trains at different places each day. A slightly late train 216 causes all 3 trains to be at Osier at the same time. Luckily the hail storm was before the the two passenger trains got there. The student train was freight cars with a caboose. We had to shoo cows off the track in many places and even got stopped by a downed tree. Other than radio communication there was not much to suggest the time was not the 1930's.
 

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#3
On the last day we had to drop some rail at Coxo and the ties you see on the flat car were unloaded at Cresco. Students didn't have to help unload. 6 student fireman and 5 student engineers changed positions from caboose to locomotive about every 4 miles, 30 minutes or so. This gave us all a chance to experience the varying terrain and loads on the engine. High fire danger required lower speeds and motor cars followed with fire suppression equipment just in case. It did rain in the evenings so not as bad as the D&S. It is a great ride and beautiful scenery.
 

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#4
Cost was around $2000. Sounds high but considering the 4 days of training with a dedicated train crew, engineer, fireman, conductor and brakeman, over 64 miles of mountain railroad with steam it is well worth it. If you want to do this you need to watch the website and sign up when classes become available, usually in December. They fill up fast.
 
#6
Dear Santa,

I have been a very good person and am requesting to attend these classes please!

Any date and time will work for me!

Thank You very much

momagna
 





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