Thursday, September 29, 2011

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

We drove into Durango, CO and settled in at the Alpen Rose RV Park located just north of the town of Durango. We were impressed with the beauty of the area as we drove into the park. 

We initially figured we would stay here just a few days, but ended up staying a week, both because of the beauty of the area and for Rick to complete a few maintenance items on the coach. We had a good site and enjoyed the park.

The next morning, we stopped by the Durango McDonalds for coffee and Rick heard a steam train whistle! Whoa! There, right next door to the McDonalds, as seen above, is the Durango and Silverton railroad which runs steam trains to Silverton, CO about 50 miles to the north.

 Rick is a big train fan, especially steam trains, which are very hard to find. He went outside to find locomotive 486 getting ready to head out of Durango. Wow! What a find.

 The 486, a Baldwin Locomotive Works product dating from 1925, hauled a long train of some 14 cars filled with people. This is a real trip to the past.

Rick is in his glory. A real steam locomotive ready to roll AND he gets his coffee too. Things don't get much better than this.

 A couple minutes later, the 486 whistled and chugged out of the station. Traffic on the cross street in front of the McDonald's was stopped and the train eased forward with a great display of smoke and steam.

 The driving wheels on the 486 are very small, giving it a tremendous amount of low speed torque, which is just what it needs to climb the steep grades up the mountain. A round trip on the train to Silverton and back takes about 8 hours, so it is a full day.

The mountains are steep toward Silverton, as we found out later when we drove up there, and we thought about the train working its way north. This was a great opportunity to see trains in action.


Anonymous said...

Hi rick,

is there any way we can have your email address since we bought a Buick lacrosse 2011 and have some questions about that "battery disconnect" of yours. Isn't it dangerous for the different computers aboard the car when battery power is disconnected? And, if not, did you install sort of a switch to cut off the battery power? serge

Rick and Orinda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick and Orinda said...

Contact us at rick.christoph(a)

Use the @ symbol for the (a) above. Thanks!