|Above, the Durango train at High Line. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
In 1981, I was browsing the various vacation-oriented vendor booths at the H. Werner Buck Enterprises Sports, Vacation and Travel Show when I came upon the booth of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad of Colorado. Looking over their displays and gathering literature, I became interested in riding the train. I was planning a vacation trip to the Four Corners region, so this fit in perfectly.
|Above, the Durango Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The first time I rode the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was in 1982. The round-trip price was around $50 (give or take). That was during the days when Florida citrus grower Charles Bradshaw Jr. owned the railroad. It was formerly a line of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. I have taken more rides on the train over the years since.
Today, the D&SNG is owned by American Heritage Railways.
|Above, the museum at the Durango Station roundhouse. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
I last rode the train in September 2020 on their Cascade Canyon excursion trip. Part of tracks were washed out and there was no train trips to Silverton during the time it took to repair the tracks. I will be taking a trip to Silverton next month with my former roommate on the train. It is an easy 2 1/2 hour drive from my home in New Mexico.
The current round-trip Standard Class fare from Durango to Silverton, Colorado is $105. Although $105 is a lot of money, the ride is still worth the expense (it's about 90 miles round-trip). There is a concession car on the train for food and drinks (the last car on the train).
|Above, a view of the Animas River below High Line. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
There are two free museums, one each in Durango and Silverton, on the D&SNG. I have been to the one at the Durango station (it is at the roundhouse). It is well worth a visit.
The steam locomotives have been converted from coal-burning to oil-burning. Although oil is more environmentally friendlier, I missed the smell of burning coal.
|Above, the Durango train traverses in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The official website to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad can be reached by going here.