Elizabeth and I arose at 5:00, we checked out of the Quality Inn and I drove us to Denny's for a great breakfast then drove the short distance to the Durango and Silverton's parking lot and from there, walked to the Durango and Silverton train station and waited inside. Later we gave our luggage to a member of the crew who put all the baggage in a Denver and Rio Grande Western box car and we all waited outside at the train's doors to be opened and chosek seats in the "Needelton" coach for trip to Silverton.K-28 100th Anniversary Excursion Specials Fall Photo Special Overview (October 16 & October 17th)
In commemoration of our cherished K-28 locomotives turning 100 years old, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is pleased to offer a very rare and unique opportunity to experience an excursion from Durango to Silverton and return powered by two Alco K-28s. The helper will be cut in mid-train, recreating a look and train operating scenario that harkens back to earlier decades on the Denver & Rio Grande Western. The Silverton Train with mid-train helper will operate October 16th and 17th. The two-day experience will offer the northbound mid-train helper with numerous run by opportunities to photograph and video this historical recreation. The consist will include a caboose, three coaches, gondola, concession car, and eight freight cars with livery backdated to a mid-1950s Denver and Rio Grande Western look.
Day One (October 16th): The 14-car consist will navigate the Animas Canyon for a 10-hour excursion to Silverton with plenty of locations to photograph the train from along the right-of-way. After a late afternoon arrival in Silverton, Durango’s own and well-known author Jerry Day will give a presentation about the history of the K-28 locomotives during a special cocktail hour held at the Grand Imperial hotel. Complimentary appetizers will be served, and alcohol will be available for purchase. An organized night photo shoot will not be held in Silverton, however guests are welcome to capture images of the locomotives and consist at the Silverton depot on their own accord throughout the evening.
Day Two (October 17th): For the southbound return trip back to Durango, our K-28s will power two separate trains, one freight and one passenger. Again, there will be ample photo runby opportunities offered throughout the day.
A box lunch for each guest is included for both days of the excursion.
While extremely unlikely, if due to any unforeseen event one of our K-28s is not available for service for the mid-train helper, that role will be filled by one of our K-36 or K-37 locomotives.
The train left Durango at 7:00 AM and we headed out of town and I soon rode in the "Silver Vista" as I enjoyed the morning air.
Still wondering how this train was put together.
I soon saw the answer.
We had two sections of the train each pulled by a K28 engine, one a freight section then other a passenger section.
Two deer were crossing the Las Animas River this morning.
Our section engine was connected to freight cars.
The interior of "Silver Vista".
Taking another curve on our journey.
The Silver Vista emblem on the door to the car.
The Tacoma water tower.
Crossing the US Highway 550 grade crossing.
We climbed the grade to the US Highway 550 bridge before stopping at Rockwood to pick up the passengers who chased the train here. Once they were aboard, the train reversed and took us to Granite Point where we all climbed the point and I sat down to photograph the first two photo runbys. The reverse move one.
Denver and Rio Grande Western caboose 0540 built by the railroad in 1923.
Denver and Rio Grande Western "Sliver Vista" built in 2006 to replace the 1947 one destroyed by fire.
Denver and Rio Grande Western coach 95 "Needelton" built by Jackson & Sharp in 1882. It is really Durango and Silverton coach 319.
Denver and Rio Grande Western coach 20 built by Billmeyer & Small in 1878, current number is Durango and Silverton concession 212.
Denver and Rio Grande Western coach 327 built by the railroad in 1927, really Durango and Silverton coach 327.
Denver and Rio Grande Western coach 323 built by the railroad in 1927, really Durango and Silverton coach 323.
Denver and Rio Grande Western K28 476 built by the American Locomotive Company in 1923.
Denver and Rio Grande Western box car 3275 built by American Car and Foundry in 1934.
Denver and Rio Grande Western box car 3134 built by American Car and Foundry in 1934.
Denver and Rio Grande Western flat car 6668 built by the railroad in 1966.
Denver and Rio Grande Western flat car 6505 built by the railroad in 1966.
The train passing our location.
Denver and Rio Grande Western flat car 6510 built by American Car and Foundry and the railroad in 1940.
Denver and Rio Grande Western flat car 6665 built by the railroad in 1956.
Denver and Rio Grande Western drop bottom gondola 717 built by American Car and Foundry in 1904.
Denver and Rio Grande Western drop bottom gondola 743 built by American Car and Foundry in 1904.
Denver and Rio Grande Western K28 473 built by the American Locomotive Company in 1904.
Reverse move one was complete.
Photo runby one.
Reverse move two.
Photo runby two at Granite Point at Milepost 465.78. We all walked back to the train and left this great photo location.
Curving towards the national forest.
The San Juan National Forest signpost. Now we would ride across the Highline.
We have completed our trip northbound across the Highline.
Running to the crossing of the Las Animas River.
Crossing the Los Animas River at Milepost 471.23, after which we proceeded to our next stop at Tacoma.
Denver and Rio Grande Western K28 476.
Denver and Rio Grande Western K28 473. I walked down with Kevin for the next photo runby.
Photo runby three.
Photo runby four with our train taking the siding.
Photo runby five, the diesel helper Durango and Silverton DL-535E 107, nee White Pass and Yukon 107 built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1969.
Photo runby six with the Silverton train led by 2-8-2 493. We left Tacoma and continued north to the repeating curves at Milepost 472.80.
The photo line here.
Reverse move three.
Photo runby seven.
Reverse move four.
Photo runby eight. We all reboarded the train and went to Tank Creek to take water for both engines.
Tank Creek as the second engine took water, after which we made our way to Cribbed Wall, the next photo runby location.
Reverse more five.
Autumn colors at this location.
Photo runby nine at the cribbed wall.
Photo runby ten. We left here for Milepost 480.50, the Goblin Fire location.
Our two K28's.
Reverse move six.
Photo runby eleven.
Reverse move seven.
Photo runby twelve. We ran stright to Needles at Milepost 482.85.
Reverse move seven.
Photo runby thirteen.
Reverse move eight.
Photo runby fourteen. From here we went to Elk Park, Milepost 490.67.
Photo runby fifteen.
Reverse move nine.
Photo runby sixteen.
The diesel helper returned from Silverton.
Photo runby seventeen, the steam train returning from Silverton, after which we continued to Whitehead Gulch, Milepost 492.00.
Reverse move ten.
Photo runby eighteen.
Reverse move eleven.
Photo runby nineteen. We ran to Timber, Trestle Milepost 495.35, for the final photo runys of the day.
The photo line.
Reverse move twelve.
Photo runby twenty. From here we ran into Silverton where the train stopped and we reclaimed our luggage at the box car. Elizabeth and I walked to the Avon Hotel and after checking in, the owner showed us to our room then we walked over to the Three Pitts Barbecue where we both had pulled chicken, then returned to the hotel for the night.
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