Picture: Ray Martinez standing alongside passengers just before Laboto Trestle just behind the water tower prop where Harrison Ford swung from in 1989.
Ray Martinez has been with the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad for 44 years, he is 4th generation railroad. He's a proud and simple man, get's the job everyday, get's the job done right, and goes home to his wife, his high-school-sweetheart. His youngest son graduated high-school last year and also works for the railroad. I would like to say that I heard he even got a column in Train Magazine this year.
On this particular day I was riding a special train and had made my way to the caboose once I got news we were 'picking up' the regular train. I reserved the spot and eagerly waited until we arrived to this. Something tells me that all those people weren't sitting there that exited the whole time. They had experienced a problem with the break pressure and had already sent, 487, their engine back to Chama knowing we were behind them. When we arrived everybody was up in arms and our engine, 463, 115 years old this year, pulled onto the side track, switched back and coupled with the sitting train.
It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside Ray on the C&TSRR; witnessing his consistent ability to handle every situation with grace and maintain a strong character that keeps the whole train smiling. People come on the train, full grown that remember him from their first train ride. He started sweeping the cars when he was 13 years old, his father a gandy-dancer and his son a brakeman.