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Rail Tales

September 28, 1997

Having ridden the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad many years ago, I can vouch for Michael R. Boldrick's fine article in The Times ("All Aboard for Fall" Sept. 7).

However, I would rate this railroad and the Durango & Silverton as equals in enjoyment--they are two different types of experiences.

One addition to your story: Though you can take the C & T from either end, the only way to go is from Chama, N.M., since the engines are double-headed up the 4% grade, whereas from Antonito, Colo., the climb is gradual enough to require only one locomotive.

HARVEY J. QUITTNER

Los Angeles

Cross-Canada travel by rail appears to be a well-kept secret, at least to my travel agent. Lots of tours but nothing east of Calgary. A recent returnee from the Maritime Provinces supplied the missing information and I booked travel from Toronto to Vancouver. A lovely trip.

This was my first rail trip in nearly 50 years and brought back memories of travel in the good old days, via the Empire Builder, Mercury Limited and the Santa Fe Chief. The flip side was travel via Amtrak: second rate, barely. To get to Toronto from Niagara Falls and from Vancouver to Seattle (on my schedule at least) one takes an Amtrak bus.

ROBERT L. COFFMAN

San Diego

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