The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a 3 ft narrow gauge heritage railroad that operates 45.2 miles of track between Durango and Silverton, Colorado. The railway is a federally designated National Historic Landmark and is also designated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
The route was originally built between 1881 and 1882, by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway, in order to carry supplies and people to and from silver and gold ore mines in the San Juan Mountains.
The line from Durango to Silverton has run continuously since 1881, although it is now a tourist and heritage line hauling passengers, and is one of the few places in the United States which has seen continuous use of steam locomotives. In March 1981, the Denver and Rio Grande Western sold the line and the D&SNG was formed.
The trains run from Durango to the Cascade Wye in the winter months and run from Durango to Silverton during the summer months. The depot in Durango was built in January 1882 and has been preserved in it’s original form.
Leaving Durango promptly at 9:45 am, the Cascade Canyon train is being pulled by engine 473 which was one of ten K-28 locomotives built by the American Locomotive Works in Schenectady, New York in 1923 for the narrow gauge D&RGW. All ten engines which were called the Sport Models, were sold to the Rio Grande Railroad. The 473 worked the narrow gauge rails in Colorado and New Mexico with her sisters 470 through 479. The 473 spent a lot of time on the Silverton line, also working Durango to Alamosa and the Chili line, which ran from Antonito, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Later that day, the weather has changed and snow has returned, but the train crosses the Animas River for an on time arrival back in Durango at 2:45 pm.
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