488 Leaving Antonito

By Brent Burger; posted August 28, 2003

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Pounding west for Lava and 10,000 foot Cumbres Pass beyond, K-36 number 488 heads up a long freight with K-36 480 cut in the middle as a helper. The tank cars are specifically lettered for the now abandoned Gramps oil field near Chama, and were used to transport oil from there to the Occidental refinery on the outskirts of Alamosa. The steamers still run from this point to Chama, some 64 miles of rail away. The telegraph was originally built exclusively with 127's and by the 1970's the line was still heavy with blobtops! The date is 12-61. Photo courtesy of John West