Railway Preservation News

Caterpillars Invade, Stall Cumbres & Toltec
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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:56 am ]
Post subject:  Caterpillars Invade, Stall Cumbres & Toltec

http://www.kasa.com/dpps/news/news_othe ... ad_6647173

It's like something out of a 1950s monster movie: Creepy-crawlies moving down the hillsides of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado and sliming the land.

"Oh God, gory, gory," said a woman who visited the area one day earlier this month.

The creatures are tent caterpillars.

This summer, they broke free of their tent-like silk webs in the trees. For six weeks, millions of them invaded the hills around the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad between Chama in Rio Arriba County and Antonito, 64 rails miles away in Colorado.

"Literally there were so many caterpillars it looked like the ground itself was moving," said railroad President John Bush. "This one was a fairly severe one."

There were so many caterpillars, the train, which is the economic lifeblood for the area, took a hit. The critters slimed the rails and stopped the train dead in its tracks.

The steam-powered locomotive couldn't make it up some of the hills. Cumbres and Toltec employees installed stream sprayers to blast the caterpillars off the track. Two engines also helped haul the train over the slick spots.

More, including photo and video, at the link.

Author:  Steve Freer [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caterpillars Invade, Stall Cumbres & Toltec

Remember what I said about doubleheaders? :-o

Seems like C&T is always chasing critters off the tracks:


Author:  Steve Singer [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caterpillars Invade, Stall Cumbres & Toltec

Happened in late June & lots of pics & discussion on the NG forums.

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