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Durango and Silverton Railroad Trains Magazine Extra 493 Photo Charter along with Southern Pacific 18 9/3/2021



by Chris Guenzler



Elizabeth and I woke up at the Teller Hotel in Silverton and after some morning preparations, we went down and across the street to the Lone Spur Cafe where I had a waffle and bacon and Elizabeth had sausage, eggs, hash browns and toast. After I finished the story, we packed up, checked out then walked to where we thought the train was boarding.





Southern Pacific 18 was on the point of the freight train.





The rear of Southern Pacific 18. We joined the group of fellow passengers and then were told we would board at the D&RGW station. We walked there but there was no train. A few minutes later, Southern Pacific 18 came backing with the freight train and we started taking pictures.





Southern Pacific 18 backed by my photo location.









Southern Pacific 18 was ready for some action.





A board of Silverton's railroads.





Durango and Silverton switcher 11 added a car to our train which 339 "Fort Lewis".





Diesel 11 went back to its track in Silverton.





The safety meeting before our trip could begin. Today would feature Southern Pacific 4-6-0 18 leading a freight train and Denver and Rio Grande Western K-37 493 on our passenger train. The freight train would run behind us and be the featured event of the day. Our train backed into the station and we all put our bags on it before our first photo operation of the morning.







Back up move one in Silverton.















Photo runby one in Silverton.





Southern Pacific 18 in Silverton.





Back up move two. The engine would do a hard start.













Photo Runby two.





Southern Pacific 18 at rest.





Southern Pacific 18 backing to the wye.





Our passenger train returned from the wye and once it reached the station, we all boarded and headed out onto the mainline to the first photo runby location at Timber Bridge.





This timber bridge will be replaced next spring with a new bridge.





Back up move three at the Timber Bridge.









Photo Runby three at the Timber Bridge.





Back up move four.





Back up move five.







Photo Runby four at the Timber Bridge.





Back up move six at the Timber Bridge.







Photo runby five.







Photo runby six here. The train went to Elk Park siding and we walked to the Elk Park Wye to wait for the diesel train.









This morning's diesel train looked exactly like the one yesterday, but with different passengers.





Back up move seven at the Elk Park Wye.











Photo runby seven at the Elk Park Wye.





Back up move eight.













Photo runby eight at the Elk Park Wye.













Photo runby ten here.





Southern Pacific 18 backed into the southeast leg of the wye.





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The steam train for Durango this morning, the same train as yesterday but also with different passengers.













Photo runby eleven at the Elk Park Wye.













Photo runby twelve at the Elk Parl Wye. We all reboarded the train for the short trip to The Twin Bridges.





Back up move nine at the Twin Bridges.





Back up move ten at the Twin Bridges.





The old railroad bridge last used in 1964.









Photo runby thirteen.





The caboose with Eli, son of one of our crew members, inside.





Back up move eleven at the Twin Bridges.







Photo Runby fourteen at the Twin Bridges.









Photo Runby fifteen at the Twin Bridges. We left for Needleton.





Our engine took on water at the new tank at Needleton. From here we went to the old Rio Grande water tower at Needleton.



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Back up move twelve at the water tower.





Back up move thirteen at the water tower.













Southern Pacific 18 pretended to take on water from the tower at Needleton.













Photo runby sixteen at the water tower at Needleton.





Eli and a railroad crew member on the caboose.





Back up move fourteen at the water tower at Needleton.







Photo runby seventeen at the water tower at Needleton.









Photo runby eighteen at the water tower at Needleton. Everyone reboarded and the train continued on to our next stop of the Goblin Fire location.





Back up move fourteen at the Goblin Fire location.





Back up move fifteen at the Goblin Fire location. Crew members were doing some plant removal for us.











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Photo runby nineteen at the Goblin Fire location.





The scene with Pigeon and Turret Peaks in the background.





Eli riding the cupola and enjoying himself aboard the freight train.





Back up move sixteen at the Goblin Fire location.













Photo runby twenty at the Goblin Fire location.











Photo runby twenty-one at the Goblin Fire location. Next we ran to the Old Animas Toll Road and then we hiked to get to the photo location.





Back up move seventeen at Old Animas Toll Road.









Photo Runby twenty-two at the Old Animas Toll Road.









Photo Runby twenty-three at the Old Animas Toll Road. The train then took us to the Cascade Wye so we could clear for the diesel train.









The diesel train for Durango came by us next.





Next the fire speeder came through Cascade Wye.















Photo runby twenty-four at Cascade Wye.













Photo runby twenty-five at Cascade Wye. Our next location would be Tacoma but the train made a stop on the way to it.





Our train took water at Tank Creek before we ran to Tacoma where we all detrained so the consist could be re-arranged.





A long-lost friend.





Chris and his long-lost friend at Tacoma.





Rio Grande 493 cut off from our train.





The steam engine then headed to the freight train consist.







The train pulled everything except the caboose out of the siding.





Next it backed onto the passenger train.





Then pulled the consist back up to the switch.





Our most wonderful engineer of our train crew who let me know what the Southern Pacific 18 was doing while we were doing this here at Tacoma.





The train backed into the siding.









The steam train for Durango came through next.





Next the fire speeder passed through.











Photo runby twenty-six at Tacoma. Everyone re-boarded the train and now I started to think about riding behind Southern Pacific 18.





The Animas River from the high bridge. If we stayed on at the Horseshoe Curve photo runby, we would be able to ride behind the engine.





On the way to the Horseshoe Curve.





We arrived at the Horseshoe Curve. All but seven of us stayed aboard the train and would be able to ride the Southern Pacific 18.





The view looking back.





The spot where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid jumped into the Las Animas River in that movie.





The photo line above the tracks.







Here is the proof that we rode behind Southern Pacific 18. It was a short trip but a good trip behind that engine.





The next photo runby would be a solo Rio Grande 493.







A tribute to our train crew. A special thank you to Trains Magazine, especially Jim Wrinn and Cate Kratville-Wrinn, as well as the crews of the Durango and Silverton Railroad for a excellent photo charter. Kevin Gilliam did an excellent job of organazing all the great photo runbys over the last two days.

We returned to Rockwood and retrieved our luggage from the box car. Greg then drove us onward to Cortez where we checked into the Days Inn. Elizabeth took me to Sonic to get my dinner which I ate in our room then I worked on the story while Elizabeth caught up on the Internet. After that, we called it a night.



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