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Steam & Excursion > NM Steam Aficionado Ernie Robart Passes


Date: 12/26/18 12:05
NM Steam Aficionado Ernie Robart Passes
Author: Cumbresfan

A standout in the New Mexico steam community passed away Monday afternoon (12/24) in Albuquerque from the effects of a stroke. Ernie Robart had a long and distinguished career in support of heritage steam in the southwest. He was present at the 1970 founding of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad and was one of those heroic volunteers who labored to move and save the narrow gauge engines, cars and equipment before the link to the D&RGW in Antonito was severed forever. He was active in the Friends of Cumbres and Toltec and most recently was immediate past treasurer of the NM Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society which is restoring Santa Fe 2926. In the summer of 2017 he painstakingly re-lettered the 2926 tender with the correct ATSF font. Recently his lengthy photograph collection had begun being scanned for posterity. Funeral services have not yet been announced but a memorial will be held at a later date to be determined. Please keep Lourdes, his wife, and Myrene, his niece, in your thoughts during this most difficult time.

Photos from ATSF 2926 website:

1. Ernie relettering the 2926 tender with the correct font June 2017.
2. Partial lettering completed.
3. Ernie and others at the Spring 2017 Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Banquet - Left to right:
John Bush, General Manager of the C&TS RR, Terry Ross, founding father of the
C&TS RR, Ernie Robart, Mike Hartshorne and John Gibbons.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/26/18 22:15 by Cumbresfan.








Date: 12/26/18 12:39
Re: Steam Aficionado Ernie Robart Passes in NM
Author: glibby

This is very sad news.  I met Ernie this past fall on the occasion of the Trains charter commemorating the 50th anniversary of the last commercial run of the C&T.  He could not have been more gracious and helpful to this newcomer to the C&T.  His enthusiasm for all things C&T and D&RGWng was obvious.  His passing is a significant loss to the railfan community. 



Date: 12/26/18 23:53
Re: Steam Aficionado Ernie Robart Passes in NM
Author: Evan_Werkema

Sorry to hear!  Dad and I went railfanning with Ernie in Abo Canyon back in 1982 when I lived in New Mexico, and I only just got back in touch with him via e-mail earlier this year.



Date: 12/27/18 08:13
Re: Steam Aficionado Ernie Robart Passes in NM
Author: WW

I've known Ernie since the 1960's.  He was a great guy and had many talents that few knew about.  Aside from being a superb photographer, he was an excellent cartographer, drawing maps the old-fashioned way, and he also did some fine pen and ink drawings of railroad subjects.  I have examples of all three in my collection of railroad memorabilia.   I saw him this summer and I had the impression that he was one of those guys who would live almost forever.  Sadly, he didn't.  R.I.P., my friend.



Date: 12/27/18 15:15
Re: Steam Aficionado Ernie Robart Passes in NM
Author: Cumbresfan

WW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've known Ernie since the 1960's.  He was a
> great guy and had many talents that few knew
> about.  Aside from being a superb photographer,
> he was an excellent cartographer, drawing maps the
> old-fashioned way, and he also did some fine pen
> and ink drawings of railroad subjects.  I have
> examples of all three in my collection of railroad
> memorabilia.   I saw him this summer and I had
> the impression that he was one of those guys who
> would live almost forever.  Sadly, he didn't. 
> R.I.P., my friend.

There are several threads about Ernie and his historic photographs at the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum. One photograph shows him redoing the lettering on engine #483 the day the railroad became the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic in 1970. Check out Russ Sperry's threads there on the last trips in 1968 from Alamosa to Durango and return which contain hundreds of Ernie's photographs.

There is a published book, Rio Grande Narrow Gauge — The Final Years, Alamosa to Chama by Joseph P. Hereford Jr. and Ernest W. Robart (available at Amazon) that covers the years 1965-68. Ernie was going to publish two more on the Chama to Durango and Durango to Farmington segments of the line but time was not on his side. I just hope that someone else will pick up the baton and chronicle those last years.

We are just a short year and several months away from the 50th anniversary. Ernie would have loved to have been there just as he was on the Trains freight charter last summer, taking photographs and marveling at how little the line's character has changed even though the track and modern digital communications have made it more comfortable and safer for riders. Gosh, we will miss him...
 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/18 17:07 by Cumbresfan.



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