The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad faced an unusual challenge in June of 2013, as a massive outbreak of the western tent caterpillar necessitated doubleheaded operation on the 4% grade from Chama to Cumbres Pass. This was the 2nd straight year the caterpillars wreaked havoc during the month of June, as their emergence is timed to coincide with the appearance of new aspen leaves in the spring.
Feeding solely on young aspen leaves, the caterpillars denuded entire groves of trees before moving to the ground in search of more food. Gathering on the rails in great numbers, they very effectively greased the rails as the locomotives passed over them - causing frequent delays on the west side of the railroad. In this program we'll look at operations during 4 days in June, and see how the railroad devised a solution to the caterpillar problem.
Moving forward to September, you'll see a doubleheaded passenger train at the beginning of fall foliage season, as most of the aspens were able to re-foliate after the caterpillar outbreak. Finally, this program concludes with coverage of K-27 #463 on her first passenger excursion after being restored to service. We'll ride behind #463 as she doubleheads with K-36 #487 on a special Friends of the C&TS charter, from Antonito to Chama in May of 2013.
Filmed entirely in HD, this program features great steam action amidst spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery.
This program has minimal narration (with the option to turn it on or off) and no distracting music.
In addition to the standard widescreen DVD, this program is also available on HD Blu-ray disc.
Running Time: 82 minutes (plus 8 minutes of previews)