Narrow Guage

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG), Silverton, Colorado, September 8, 2009
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG), Silverton, Colorado, September 8, 2009

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (Wikipedia)

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG) is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge heritage railroad that operates 45.2 miles (72.7 km) of track between Durango and Silverton, in the U.S. state of 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 opened in 1882 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railway (D&RG) to transport silver and gold ore mined from the San Juan Mountains. The line was an extension of the D&RG 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge line from Antonito, Colorado, to Durango. The last train to operate into Durango from the east was on December 6, 1968. The states of New Mexico and Colorado purchased 64 miles between Antonito and Chama, New Mexico, in 1970 and operates today as the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Trackage between Chama and Durango was removed by 1971.

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 U.S. which has seen continuous use of steam locomotives. In March 1981, the Denver & Rio Grande Western sold the line and the D&SNG was formed.

Some rolling stock dates back to the 1880s. Trains operate from Durango to the Cascade Wye in the winter months and Durango-Silverton during the summer months. Durango depot was built in January 1882 and has been preserved in original form.

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4 comments… add one
  • Hilary Oct 10, 2015

    Hi Mike – that looks a fun train ride to take … I’d love to do it – one day! Interesting they transported the silver and gold ore down the mountains .. cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…Clarence Birdseye and that ubiquitous fish finger …My Profile

    • Mike Oct 12, 2015

      Hi Hilary – It is a fun train ride, but it’s an all day outing and the seats are not very comfortable.

      We actually took it again this time, for the third time. Only the first time was planned. The fall colors in the high country were great — mostly glorious yellow aspens.
      Mike recently posted…Route 66My Profile

  • Rummuser Oct 10, 2015

    Sadly, many of our narrow and meter gauge railways have given way to the broad gauge ones leaving the old locomotives and coaches in our railway museums. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrow_gauge_railways_in_India
    Rummuser recently posted…Pickin And Grinnin.My Profile

    • Mike Oct 12, 2015

      There are very few of the old railroads running and those that are left are almost all just operated for their tourism value.
      Mike recently posted…Route 66My Profile

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