Cumbres & Toltec Railroad Commission names Mark B. Garcia as Executive Director

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Cumbres & Toltec Names Executive Director

Antonito, Colorado – The Cumbres & Toltec Railroad Commission has named Mark B. Garcia as its executive director, effective January 14, 2013.

“Mark’s background and professional qualifications make him uniquely suitable for serving as point person for the commission in its relations with the governments of the two states, as we prepare for the 2013 season,” said Pete Foster, of Durango, CO, Commission Chairman. “He’s an engineer by education, a native New Mexican, a longtime Colorado resident – and has a career that has specialized in projects in the Rocky Mountain region.”

Garcia will assume his post in its inaugural season under the direct supervision of the C&TSR Commission. The Commission has also formed a corporation, Cumbres & Toltec Operating LLC, last year to assume management of the railroad. The Commission is also the sole member of the LLC, and late last year it named John Bush as its president. Bush will manage the day-to-day operation of the railroad and Garcia will handle the Commission’s relationships with the two states, their State Historical Preservation Offices, and funding requests to the legislatures and other funding entities.

Garcia has lived in Pagosa Springs, CO for the past 18 years, serving in local government administrative and management positions in Pagosa Springs, Antonito, Center and Alamosa. He was active in securing a $270,000 grant for restoration of the Antonito depot, a project yet to be launched. His work resume is focused in the region served by the C&TSR, contributing to his ability to understand and interact with the people and governments whose economies interact with that of the railroad.

“The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad is well-positioned to launch a long-term growth and development phase, increasing ridership and expanding facilities to prosper in the years ahead,” said Foster. “A lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated predecessors comes together in what we start with this year.”

The Commission chairman cited the high level of track and equipment condition, the new pavilion at Cumbres Station, and the initiation of architectural planning for a combination Roundhouse Reconstruction/Visitor Center project for the Chama station as upgrades for the future. And, perhaps the most noteworthy, the railroad will start the season with four locomotives totally operational, and a fifth, the historic Locomotive 463, in the final stages of renovation. With five locomotives on line, the railroad would have its largest operational fleet in its recent history.

“It’s been a bumpy ride for our dedicated railroad staff in Antonito and Chama over the last two years, with the changes in management structure and personnel – but I think we are set for greater equilibrium going forward,” Foster said. “Our workers are the bone and muscle of our operation and our new management team recognizes that fact as we tool up for the spring.”

The first trains of the 2013 season will depart from the Chama and Antonito stations on Saturday, May 25, kicking off a season with an expanded agenda of special events and special trains to appeal to all age and interest groups. Further information and schedules can be found at www.cumbrestoltec.com, or at 1-888-286-2737.
 

Jon Bentz

New Member
I've been tracking this on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum. The C&TSRR really seems to be getting their 'ducks in a row' after the departure of American Heritage Railways. Not only is Garcia highly qualified, John Bush has a long history with rail preservation and operation of heritage railways. All in all very good news.
 




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