Truss bridge

Durango & Silverton
Narrow Gauge Railroad
February, 2003

Railroad Ave.

Locomotives cross and re-cross 6th Street as they come out of the Durango engine yard to pick up their trains. In this view, No. 482 is alongside the perpendicular-parking spaces that line railroad Avenue.

Truss bridge

No. 482 leads a train out of Durango, crossing the Animas River for the first time.

Two bridges

A modern footbridge crosses just downstream of the railroad bridge.


The line parallels route 550 as far as Hermosa.


No. 482 posing.


A telephoto view of the train approaching Hermosa. The switches lead to sidings.

Hermosa bridge

No. 482 crosses the pony truss at Hermosa.


Four former East Broad Top Railroad hoppers carry ballast for the Durango & Silverton. That's the Hermosa tank in the background.


Anyone can see why Travis and I get along.


No. 482 works up a grade toward Rockwood.


The train approaches the flag stop at Rockwood, as far out as it's practical to chase.


After lunch, we head back to Rockwood to meet up again with the train, now southbound.


Coming out of the cut that leads to the high line, the train crosses a switch at the northern end of the little Rockwood yard.

Brian and Jenny

Travis succeeded in dragging his friends Brian and Jenny along the first day we actually rode the train.

The high line

A view of the high line from the back end of the train.


In winter, trains run only as far as the Cascade wye. Check out those K-36 cylinders! No. 482 has the distinction of having been on the point of the final D&RGW train from Alamosa to Salida, in 1952.

Keep off

Travis and I rode again a couple of days later. I mean, how often do I get to Durango? Meanwhile, Travis has gone and gotten himself a summer job there -- as a fireman on the railroad! Not that I'm envious. Anyhow, No. 478 pulled the second train.

From rear

No. 478 leaving Durango, as seen from the back end of the train.

Head on

Her snow plow lends No. 478 a slightly sinister air. The K-28s are smaller than the K-36s. D&RGW engineers referred to them as "sport models," according to Cinders & Smoke, the Durango & Silverton's old mile-by-mile guidebook. (Alas, it has since been discarded in favor of volume that offers less substance and more gooey prose. Which I guess is what Americans want.)

Engine oil

A detail shot of No. 478.

Click here to watch a 4.2MB Quicktime video clip of No. 482 pulling her train up the grade by the U.S. 550 overpass. (You can download a Quicktime player free from Apple's Web site.)

Added June, 2003