All aboard for Silverton. Yep, the Durango train will chug all the way to Silverton this summer. You’re watching the Local News Network brought to you by Carvers Brewing and The Timbers at Edgemont Highlands. I’m Wendy Graham Settle. First wildfires and drought, then floods and a pandemic. The past few years haven’t been kind to the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Train. But on May 22nd, the Durango train will chug all the way to Silverton for the first time since fall 2019
The reservations are looking wonderful. The Silverton train as of a week ago was about 40% booked. It’s continuing to really stack up every week. And in addition to that, of course we’re selling tickets for our train from Rockwood to Cascade Canyon which departs from Rockwood. Whereas the Silverton train of course, departs from Durango.
Johnson said that all steam engines that will run this summer have been converted to burn oil rather than coal. Coal embers from the train were identified as the source of the 416 fire that burned 55,000 acres North of Durango in 2018. The train also has purchased four diesel powered locomotives from the White Pass and Yukon Railroad in Alaska. Johnson said those locomotives can handle the steep grades to Silverton. The train also will offer three short trips daily from the Rockwood Station to the Cascade Y.
There’s a growing amount of folks that are coming up here to visit that if they don’t want to choose the option to go all the way to Silverton, appreciate time to do other activities and enjoy the region and pack their itinerary a bit more. And this train gives them a great opportunity to get up there and have a two-hour train excursion experience, come back and have the rest of the day for some other opportunities in the area
To start the season, the train will send only one excursion a day to Silverton. But Johnson expects additional trips will be added as the summer progresses. Capacity will be limited to comply with Health Department regulations for social distancing. To see schedule and ticket information, log on to durangotrain.com. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network serving Archuletta, Montezuma, La Plata and San Miguel counties in Southwest Colorado and San Juan County in New Mexico. I’m Wendy Graham Settle.