Durango to Silverton Railroad

One of my LoW friends came to stay here for a while and has wanted to ride on the Durango to Silverton Railroad.  Yesterday we took the trip to Durango, about 60 miles from here, and boarded the 9:00 a.m. train to Silverton.

I rode this train about 12 years ago in one of the enclosed cars.  This time we rode in an open car so we could experience the ride closer to the natural  environment.  I think we probably got the last available seats for the open cars, and it was well worth it!

The ride takes about three and a half hours each way, and there is time for lunch and a little bit of shopping before the return trip.  The elevation changes from 6,500 ft. to 9,300 ft. over the course of the trip.  The steam locomotive is powered by coal that comes from a mine outside of Durango.

The scenery is beautiful, with the track closely following the Animas River, sometimes at the same level, and sometimes many feet higher than the river.  All the photos here are some I took en route.

When I rode to Silverton the first time, and did the shopping piece, I found a Beaver hat I loved.  At the time I’d just moved from Virginia to Denver and was working temp jobs, and therefore, had no money.  The hat I wanted was  $100, and I passed it up.  This trip, however, I was determined to get me that Beaver hat!  And I did.  It had only increased in price about $5 a year for the last 12 years.  I actually bought a hat a little different in color from the black I’d first seen, but the new hat matches the coat I just HAD to have last year!

If you ever get a chance to go on this train, do it!  It was a superb adventure, with coal smoke puffing, and sometimes a little grit on your face.  We didn’t see much wildlife – a few prairie dog colonies, a couple of chipmunks, and a lone mountain goat – but the experience of being in the Rockies in a way one usually can’t, was wonderful.

Silverton, CO

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4 thoughts on “Durango to Silverton Railroad”

  1. Thanks for commenting on our blog. You have been officially blogrolled, and feel free to reciprocate if you like!

    Let’s keep track of one another’s adventures although we are currently living in a small house in Santa Fe after 7 months on the road in our rig.

    Happy trails!

  2. We took one of these rides on an old steamer near Monterey,CA. I love the wind rushing through the cars…you feel a part of the wind. Thanks for the memory awakening!

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