February 18, 2005


We are pleased to report that 2004 was another good year for the Another Century of Narrow Gauge Steam (ACNGS) fund. The fund continues to provide a stable source of long-term funding for the Friends, and is the primary source of private support for the capital and special project needs relating to historic preservation of the Friends and the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.

Since its inception in 2002, aggregate pledges and gifts of approximately $630,000 have been made to the fund. Actual contributions since 2002 total $477,000, including $93,000 in 2004. Major fund investments over the past year include $125,000 ($60,000 in 2003 and $65,000 in 2004) paid to the Commission as the Friends’ matching portion of the EDA locomotive grant and $70,000 disbursed for the Friends’ new railcar restoration facility in Antonito. The ACNGS fund currently has, net of commitments, approximately $95,000 of cash available for use.

EDA Locomotive Grant

Last fall the U.S. Economic Development Administration made the final payment on its current series of grants to support the railroad’s steam locomotive rebuilding program. The $400,000 payment (which had no separate Friends matching requirement) in October 2004 brings the total EDA investment in the restoration of locomotives 484, 487 and 488 to $1,400,000. These grants were made possible, in part, by the efforts of the Friends as a co-applicant with the Commission on the grant request, and the Friends 10% matching requirement on the grant, $125,000, was only possible by virtue of the funds available through the ACNGS fund. The Commission, with funds made available by the States of New Mexico and Colorado, also provided matching funds in excess of $125,000 toward the grant. Without the EDA grant and the matching funds provided by the Friends and Commission, it is unlikely that any of the locomotives would be operational today. If you have contributed one dollar to the ACNGS fund, you have made a direct contribution to keeping the C&TS railroad operating.

Antonito Car Repair Facility

The Second major initiative supported by the ACNGS fund in 2004 was the Friends new railcar restoration facility (CRF) in Antonito. The 4,300 square foot steel building, erected last fall on Friends property just east of the Antonito yard, is a two-stall car shop with capacity for up to four 30-foot freight cars. The Friends board approved the facility last summer, after plans from prior years had been delayed. Long-time Friends supporter and Antonito site volunteer Malcolm Mackey provided encouragement, support, and seed funding for the facility and the ACNGS fund provided $70,000 for completion of phase one.

The new building will provide the Friends’ Antonito volunteers with much needed protection from the harsh climate, along with critical indoor work and storage capacity for the most important pieces of historic rolling stock, such as recently completed short caboose #0579. Additional work on the CRF, such as a concrete floor, track, and electrical service, is planned this year as funds become available. Grant applications have been made to cover the projected costs, but it is possible that the ACNGS fund will contribute additional amounts to finish the facility.

Other Fund Activity

The ACNGS Fund is primarily funded by members of the Friends. Out of approximately 700 contributors since inception, about 650 are Friends members. As you know, 10% of all fund contributions are allocated to the Friends permanent/endowment fund. The permanent fund now totals approximately $51,000, including the $47,500 added to it from ACNGS contributions. Over the long term, the earnings from the Friends permanent fund will become a very important source of operating revenue, although the board has elected thus far to allow the earnings to be added to the principal balance. The Friends strategic plan targets the growth of the permanent fund to the $250,000 range over the next five to six years.

Administrative expenses of the fund continue to run below the 5% authorized by the board. Through December 31, 2004, the administrative expenses paid from the ACNGS fund since inception total $8,800, or 2% of the total fund contributions.

Other than cash, the only asset held by the fund is a $20,000 promissory note from RGRPC. This note evidences a loan made by the fund to RGRPC in 2003. The note bears interest at 6.5%, which is paid monthly. The principal amount due is scheduled for repayment in monthly installments in 2006.

Future Fund Uses and Needs

As you know, last year the Friends and RGRPC agreed that RGRPC would no longer be a controlled affiliate of the Friends. While you may not notice any difference in the operation or management of either entity, what this means for the Friends is that the ACNGS funds will no longer normally be used to provide capital directly to the RGRPC. When ACNGS funds are used to support the railroad, they will be provided to the Commission for its use and direction. This is a change from how the ACNGS funds were originally used to support the railroad when RGRPC was a controlled affiliate of the Friends.

The Friends, using ACNGS funds, recently made a grant to the Commission of $70,000 for the purchase of long lead-time parts and services for the restoration of C&TS locomotive 489. This grant was made at the request of RGRPC and the Commission so that the process of restoring 489 can begin this spring and, hopefully, be completed in the fall of 2005. As of this date less than $5,000 of the grant has been advanced.

The ACNGS fund has adequate assets on hand to complete the 489 grant and other small projects, including possible additional funds for the Antonito CRF and other historic preservation efforts this year. Outstanding pledges for the balance of 2005 and 2006 total about $73,000 for each year. We are counting on the receipt of the unpaid pledges to fund other historic preservation needs this year and next.

However, our plans for the next five years are not small. This summer the Friends expect to announce plans for a major multi-year project in Chama, including a museum and interpretive center and possibly railcar storage and/or restoration facilities. While grants and outside funding will be sought, the backbone of our fundraising efforts will be the ACNGS fund and we will be initiating a major long-term fundraising effort to provide most of the funding for the new projects.

How You Can Help

The ACNGS fund was instrumental in keeping the railroad operating during the difficult 2002 and 2003 seasons. More recently, the ACNGS fund played a pivotal role in assuring that adequate funds were available to match the EDA locomotive grant, and that grant, with the Friends and Commission matching funds, was critical in getting three locomotives operational for the railroad. And, we hope our recent assistance is instrumental in getting engine 489 ready to go later this year.

But, we still need your help. If you’ve made a multi-year pledge, please make the 2005 payment on the pledge if you haven’t already, and consider accelerating the 2006 portion into 2005. If you haven’t yet made a pledge or gift to the fund, please consider doing so today. Our short-term goal is to position the fund with adequate reserves so that we have momentum when we start our next major fundraising campaign later in 2005. ACNGS funds are used to support the C&TS railroad and the Friends’ restoration and interpretation programs, and without the fund much of the progress we’ve seen over the past three years would not have been possible.

While we are contacting additional potential ACNGS donors outside of the Friends, the core of our support will remain the Friends’ members and other close supporters. We thank you for your wonderful support and generosity in the past and, with a sense of strong commitment and belief in the future of the railroad, ask for your continued support now and in the future. In the final analysis, it will be the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and its members that assure that Another Century of Narrow Gauge Steam is a reality.

Please feel free to contact Tim Tennant, President & CEO of the Friends, or Bob Craine, Chair of the Development Committee, if you have any questions or concerns.


Tim Tennant
President and CEO

Bob Craine
Director and Chairman, Development Committee

Please contact Bob Craine (; or 918-317-4376) or Tim Tennant (; or 505-880-1311) for additional information, or visit the Friends’ web site at

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