East Broad Top hoppers
at work in Colorado

My friend Travis Wheeler, an engineer at the Durango & Silverton, photographed former East Broad Top hoppers on September 13, 2005, on a Durango & Silverton work train that was spreading ballast. The train, he says, was surprisingly heavy.

Ballast train

The work train included all four of the Durango & Silverton's ex-EBT hoppers, as well as a coach, a baggage car, and a caboose. Travis says the coach and the baggage car were in the train for test runs after being overhauled. The locomotive, K-28 No. 478, had been repainted, relettered, and even renumbered for the railroad's recent Railfest. This photo was taken at milepost 467.05, just past the highway overpass, and shows a brakeman closing the bay doors after the ballast had been spread. The ballast was spread while the train was headed downgrade.

No. 472

No. 478, in the guise of the long-departed No. 472, carrying white flags on the head end of the work train. The green boiler jacket, Travis reports, recalls the paint scheme in which Alco delived the K-28s to the Denver & Rio Grande. This photo was taken at the Cascade Wye.


Here are the hoppers three years ago, on their customary siding by the Hermosa tank, where the railroad's track crews are based.


Just in case you had doubts.