Durango Train Aims to Resume Coal-Fired Steam Engine Service July 12

Durango Train-Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

A young Durango train passenger waves to rafters on the Animas River from a passenger car. Photo: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is aiming to resume coal-fired steam locomotive trips between Durango and Silverton this week, depending on weather and fire conditions.

The Durango train suspended its coal-fired steam train passenger service as a result of the 416 forest fire that briefly closed San Juan National Forest in June. Durango train officials worked with local authorities, agencies and other community leaders to instead launch limited diesel locomotive passenger service through this Wednesday, July 11.

If the Durango train isn’t able to resume service to Silverton using its historic coal-fired locomotive, the railroad will continue to offer diesel train trips to Cascade Canyon, a journey that allows passengers to see a majority of the most beautiful scenery along the route, including the High Line.

Between July 5 and July 11, the Durango train also launched two additional daily, round-trip diesel locomotive excursions. These hour-long trips travel from the downtown Durango train depot to an event park located just outside the city. The special summer train adventures take passengers through historic Durango along the Animas River to their destination in the Animas Valley.

Durango train officials chose July 12 to restart coal-fired steam engine service based on current weather forecasts, which project an improved chance of precipitation. Crews have also been working to complete track and right-of-way repairs in the fire-affected areas and complete a full inspection of the rail line prior to resuming service. The railroad will continue to monitor these and other factors in the coming days, and it reserves the right to modify the service resumption date if weather patterns and fire conditions do not improve.

Passengers who bought steam train passenger service excursions to Silverton that have been canceled can opt to receive a full refund, transfer their tickets to ride the Cascade Canyon Express, a diesel train locomotive experience through the San Juan Mountains, or reschedule their trips for when steam train service resumes. Visitors can find fare and schedule information for these excursions at www.durangotrain.com.

In the meantime, the Durango & Silverton train encourages visitors and to stop by the Durango train depot for scheduled railyard tours and free museum admission.

While you’re visiting Durango for your summer vacation, be sure to stay with us at the Econo Lodge Durango! The Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites is one of the best hotels in Durango (according to our guests), where you’ll find our newly renovated lobby and updated guest rooms. Book your stay today!

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