The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Back In Action
After enduring fire and flood the train is rolling once again.
To say that the Durango & Silverton Railroad has had a tough year would be an understatement. The popular tourist attraction was first "derailed' back on June 1st after the start of the 416 Fire. That event just north of Durango forced the trains closure for nearly 40 days. The timing couldn't have been any worse right in the middle of the trains peak tourist season.
After the delay, the train resumed service in mid-July. Then fell across the area only to create mudslides and debris flows that wrecked a large portion of the track. A portion of a fire-scarred mountain slope slid away requiring an extensive rebuild of both the hillside and the trains' tracks.
last Friday, the train finally pulled out of the station in Durango headed for Silverton. It was the first full trip since the track damage nearly two months ago.
With fall officially here, the D&SNG is already looking forward to the holiday season. The train's popular "Polar Express" trips book about 34,000 riders annually. Of course, there's always next year. The railroad is hoping 2019 will be a big year to help the recovery of this year's losses. It's won't be easy. Back in 2001, the railroad had a banner year with 210,000 riders only to have the Missionary Ridge Fire break out. It took nearly 10 years for the trains' ridership numbers to recover after that event.
Credit The Durango Herald