Alamosa News | The restored locomotive will bring the first tourist passenger train back to La Veta Pass on July 28

Details: On July 28, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is back in action. RGSR will resume its Mountain Rails Live concert series with Peter Yarrow’s concert. The Scenic Railroad train, hauled by a restored locomotive in Adams State livery, will leave the yard at 10:30 a.m. on July 28. The public is invited to stop at the yard at 10 a.m. to view the Adams State Locomotive. ASU will distribute train whistles during this time. Tickets for the concert are available. For more ticket information, visit:

ALAMOSE — The opportunity to refurbish a 40,000 ton locomotive brought together two of Alamosa and the San Luis Valley’s leading industries. You will see the result on the train tracks.

Adams State University and San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad have restored a working locomotive with the Adams State branding in honor of their shared history as two of the primary industries that shaped Alamosa and the San Luis Valley for nearly 100 years .

The restored locomotive will be used by SLRG to pull cars – freight and passenger – on its 154 miles of track on three lines radiating from Alamosa.

“This is a landmark project that represents the Adams State in motion and reflects the University’s pride in its hometown of Alamosa and the San Luis Valley region it has served for nearly 100 years,” said ASU Chief Marketing Officer Chris Lopez.

“We were delighted that Adams State expressed interest in helping us restore one of our locomotives,” said SLRG General Manager Emily Ellis. “It’s exciting to see the Adams State colors carried along the lanes as a representation of our home in Alamosa and our commitment to the San Luis Valley.”

Adams State art students Andrew Rascon and Robert Gallegos created the original design for the project as part of their final semester before graduating in May.

The two worked with Lopez to sand down the locomotive and prep it for paint and graphics.

Adams State contracted Baroz Auto and Paint in La Jara to spray the ASU locomotive green, black, and white, and Extreme Graphics of Alamosa completed the restoration with graphics.

The SLRG maintenance shop crew had engine repairs to complete before the locomotive was finally back on track on Wednesday after two months of restoration.

The 1921 Adams State locomotive will begin hauling freight this week. Then, on Saturday, July 28, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad will pick up the locomotive and use it to transport tourist passengers to the railroad’s first concert excursion over La Veta Pass since the Spring Creek fire. Alcon Construction is rebuilding the concert stage on La Veta Pass with support from community members.

“It will be a wonderful day to show off the Adams State locomotive and have it pull the first cars to La Veta since the area was devastated by fire this month,” Ellis said.

Former local Scenic Railroad manager Matt Abbey was instrumental in bringing the Adams State Railroad and the Rio Grande together for the project. It also played a vital role in the Scenic Tourist Train and will be on hand when the ASU locomotive hits the track.

Adams State art student Andrew Rascon cleans locomotive 4138 in preparation for the Adams State paint job./ Photo by Chris Lopez/USS

Jose P. Rogers