Evening arrival in Silverton. The Durango Railroad Historical Society's restored C-18 Class Consolidation #315 comes out of the shadows of the Animas Canyon and enters the evening light in the Silverton Yard. She's pulling a short photo freight that has been working in the canyon all day under a wide variety of weather conditions. Here, she passes the DSNG's Diesel Locomotive #7,"Big Al", in the vicinity of the Silverton Wye. A notable item in the background of this picture is the highway that is cut into the hillside behind the trains. This is US 550, which is the primary vehicle route from Durango to Silverton. The last few miles of the approach to Silverton features some very winding, narrow stretches with stunning, scenic overlooks that are unobstructed for the most part by annoying foreground clutter such as guard rails. In recent years however, the highway folks have been seen putting up barriers at some of the more exciting spots. I've never thought to ask the locals if this was a proactive or reactive measure. :o)
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad are all that remains of the legendary Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge system. Here you'll find some of my favorites from these two beautiful railways.