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Durango and Silverton Railroad Trains Magazine Extra 493 Photo Charter 9/2/2021



by Chris Guenzler



We woke up at 5:15 AM and after having our breakfast, I checked the Internet while Elizabeth packed. We met Greg and Marty at the car and we checked out then Greg followed our photo train and we saw it at four grade crossings in Durango before we reached the highway to Rockwood. I checked in and received our lanyards while Elizabeth took our computers and overnight bag to be placed in the box car for the trip to Silverton. A safety briefing was made and we waited for the event to begin.

On September 2 and 3, Trains Magazine will host Extra 493, an two-day photo charter on the Durango & Silverton that will be the first photo freight charter for the K37 brought back to life in 2020. We plan on 4-5 freight cars and two or three coaches. If possible, this train will begin and end at Durango to make the most of time in the canyon. The locomotive will be lettered Rio Grande. We will overnight in Silverton and arrange lighting in Silverton for night photos. We had planned to operate this following Victorian Iron Horse Roundup last year, but the pandemic made this impossible. Fortunately, the D&S was gracious in allowing us access this year. Additionally, Southern Pacific 18 will be in town, and the D&S has agreed to incorporate it into the charter on the second day. Basically, we'll get two locomotives for the price of one.

Our Trip

We hiked to the west from Rockwood up to the Granite Point overlook for our first photo runby of the day.





The photo line at Granite Point. We waited for the train and it blew its whistle for the grade crossing below, everyone fell silent and we waited for the photo runby to commence.

















Photo runby 1 at Granite Point. We walked to where the train was stopped and everyone boarded, with Elizabeth and I taking seats in the coach 257 "Shenandoah". The consist of our mixed train was/ Rio Grande K-37 493, all D&SNG flat car 6522, box car 3631, gondolas 717 and 743, flat car 6665, Concession Car 566, Coach 319 "Needleton", Coach 257 "Shenandoah" and caboose 0549. We returned to Rockwood so people could get their canera bags before we left Rockwood and would head north up the railroad.





The train on the famous high line. We stopped at the horseshoe curve and the group was split between cars and our car took the southern photo spot.







Back up move number one.











Photo runby 2.





Members of our group at photo runby 2. We switched places with the other group putting us on a rock high above the Las Animas River.















Photo Runby three above the Las Animas River.





Our group walking back to where the train will pick us up.







On the way to the High Bridge. They dropped us off and then the train would back up after everyone reached their photo spots.







Back up move three.









Photo runby four at the high bridge.





Back up move four.











Photo runby five at the high bridge. We next ran to Tacoma and I switched to my zoom lens to get my pictures here.







Back up move five.









Photo runby five at the Tacoma. We next ran to the north side of Teft.





Back up move six.









Photo runby five at the north side of Teft.





Back up move seven was to move our train out of the way for the diesel train to Silverton to arrive and go by us all at the north side of Teft.







The diesel train to Silverton went by our photo lines the north side of Teft.





A fire speeder went by us next.





Our photo line at the north side of Teft.











Photo Runby six at the north side of Teft. From here we ran to the Bubbling Rock.





Back up move eight.











Photo runby seven at Bubbling Rock.





Back up move nine at Bubbling Rock.











Photo runby eight at Bubbling Rock. We next ran to Needleton where our train dropped us off and the train went to Needelton to get out of the way of the next train.









The doubleheaded steam train was led by Southern Pacific 4-6-0 18 and Durango and Silverton K36 480 at Needleton.





A fire speeder came by us next.





Back up move ten at Needleton.









Photo runby ten at Needleton. We next ran to just beyond Needleton Tank.





Back up move eleven just beyond Needleton Tank.









Photo runby 11 just beyond Needleton tank. We next ran to Juniors Kitchen.





Back up move twelve at Juniors Kitchen.











Photo Runby twelve at Juniors Kitchen.





Back up move thirteen at Juniors Kitchen.











Photo Runby thirteen at Juniors Kitchen. Next we ran to Highball Alley.





Two views of the photo lines at Highball Alley.





Back up move fourteen at Highball Alley.





Photo runby fourteen at Highball Alley.





Back up move fifteen at Highball Alley.





Photo runby fifteen at Highball Alley. We ran to Elk Park siding.





The diesel train to Durango at Elk Park siding.





Back up move sixteen.











Photo Runby sixteen at Elk Park siding with Mount Garfield guarding the sky.





Back up move seventeen.







Photo Runby seventeen at Elk Park siding, We all walked down the grade to the Elk Park Wye.





Back up move eighteen at Elk Park Wye.






Photo runby eighteen at Elk Park Wye.







Photo runby nineteen at Elk Park Wye. The train returned to Elk Park siding.











The steam train returned to Durango at Elk Park Wye. We all walked back to the train at Elk Park siding then the train continued to the Narrows and we unloaded and climbed up the hill.





Back up move twenty at the Narrows.











Photo Runby twenty at the Narrows.





Back up move twenty one at the Narrows.











Photo runby twenty one at the Narrows. We reboarded and the train took us to the Timber Bridge that will be replaced next spring.





Back up move twenty two at the Timber Bridge.













Photo runby twenty two at the Timber Bridge.





Back up move twenty three at the Timber Bridge.











The final northbound photo runby twenty three at the Timber Bridge. We reboarded and the train took us into Silverton.

Silverton

Elizabeth and I received our luggage as we walked to the Teller House and found our room and the key inside. We went to the Handlebars Restaurant and Salooon where I had a Prime Rib French Dip and Elizabeth had a chicken pot pie. After dinner Elizabeth stayed in the room and I took a walk to photograph in Silverton.









Southern Pacific 4-6-0 18 built in 1911 by Baldwin Locomotive Company which we would be using on tomorrow's photo charter.





The builder'splate was partially hidden on this engine.





The engine that brought us here is posed in front of the Silverton station.





The Silverton and Northern Railroad's new shed for the Rio Grande 315.





The Silverton and Northern Railroad station. I returned to the Teller House and worked on this story until it was time for me to go to bed and we called it a night.



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