Ernest W. Robart

Ernie Robart died in Albuquerque, NM on December 24, 2018. Ernie is survived by his wife, Lourdes Catalan Robart; his brother, Myron Robart; his niece, Myrene Eklund; and his nephew, David Robart, all of Albuquerque. Ernie is also survived by his numerous friends who enjoyed his company as a world-class photographer and railroad historian.

A Memorial Service will be held for Ernie on Saturday, January 12, 2019, 2:00 p.m., at FRENCH - Wyoming. Memorial contributions may be made to the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad or the New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society. Please visit our online guestbook for Ernie at

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"Banging on a 2900"

Work Session Status Week Ending 01/05/2019

January 7, 2019

Late December and so far in January has brought us driving rain, snow and bitter cold temperatures. We have been forced to suspend work sessions and work periodically inside the engine house. Our 400,000 BTU torpedo heater came in handy for that.

On the more tolerable days much needed infrastructure work was performed along with equipment maintenance.

We erected a propane tank enclosure to help keep the LP tanks warm during the tender badge casting process. There are plans at this time to only cast a total of 100. Most have been sold and or spoken for so if anyone would like to have one come to the site or order one on our web site.

Our neighbors in the area have had copper wire stolen from their meter bases and facilities. In view of this we fabricated an expanded metal enclosure around ours in hopes we have no loss of power on site.

Both fork lifts were in need of some TLC which has required unexpected expenditures from our coffers. Sally, the small white one, needed its lift cylinder rebuilt. The large yellow one, Nellie Belle I believe is her name, needs a new radiator and throttle linkage.

Our dynamos were not performing as intended so we have done troubleshooting which uncovered some electrical gremlins. One is now performing properly while work continues on the second.

New upper and lower site glass valves were installed and their associated drains.

Our sheet metal crew are still busy making more templates for the jacketing and installing turnbuckle clips on the fabricated jacket joint covers.

The fabricated cab fold-away jump seat was in need of a foot rest for the occupant. The assembly is 95% completed and will be headed to the paint shop in the near future.

The radial buffer project has finally come to an end. It was inserted in the tender pocket then the draw bars were installed. This is the first time all these items have been mated together since the 2926 was moved from the Coronado Park back in the year 2000.

I want to thank all those who have already renewed their membership and also sent in an extra donation. For those that haven't renewed their membership please do so as soon as you can. I would also encourage those who are following this project to help out and become a member.

We still have major expenses ahead of us. The tool car "GoFundMe" program is still about $30,000 below the goal. If your donation is intended for the tool car it needs to be specified for that.

We also took delivery of the long awaited gen set for the tool car. A trailer was rented on a special work day. The generator was picked up at the dock and offloaded at our site. It now resides in one of our secure containers where it will stay until the tool car arrives, hopefully in the spring or summer.

We are having our Annual Safety Refresher on January 19, 2019 at 0900, but you need to arrive at least by 0830 to sign in. It will be held at the Local 412 Plumbers and Steam Fitters Union Hall at 510 San Pedro SE, at the SE corner of San Pedro and Zuni. Parking is sometimes limited.

As many of you already know, we lost one of our founding members and founding member of Cumbres & Toltec Railroad as well. Ernest (Ernie) Robart had such a vast knowledge of all our old and new railroad history in his head. That knowledge will certainly be missed by his absence. Ernie passed away on December 24, 2018.

There will be a dinner at Tomasita's in Santa Fe this coming Friday, January 11, 2019 at 6:05 - 9:00 pm. People coming from ABQ can take the Rail Runner at Los Ranchos station (or other closer to you) or drive yourself to Santa Fe. Reservations for the dinner can be sent to Bill Moyers at his email address Your tickets at the Rail Runner stations are not expensive and can be purchased at the station or online.

Ernie's Memorial service will be held on January 12, 2019 at 2 pm, French Mortuary Chapel on Wyoming, 7121 Wyoming NE, 87109. Our workday will start at 0900 and end at 1200 that day for those that wish to attend his service.

I am attaching his Obituary from the ABQ Journal Sunday paper below. Also, Mr. William Lock, Attorney at Law, and friend of Ernie and family, is taking donations for expenses Ernie's wife will have to pay due to his death. You can send those donations payable directly to William J. Lock Trust Account at 5732 Osuna NE, ABQ, NM 87109. His phone number is 505-880-1200 and his email is if you have further questions. There's approximately $8900 that donors and friends can help with if you so choose.

Ernie will be missed by all that knew this gentle and quiet man. He painted all our letters on the tender and locomotive the summer of 2017 and planned to paint the smokebox door once she was hot again. Ernie was a mentor to many and he always had good information about the history of our railroads. He loved taking photos and showing people his handiwork when he returned from a photo shoot. Rest in Peace our friend.

Keep on Steamin',
Rick & Gail Kirby, CMO & Secretary