Between the engines, all 10 of them, and 44 passenger cars, not to mention the tracks and ties, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad takes on thousands upon thousands of miles of abuse every season. And at the end of every season, a little off-time is a must. The railroad sees the current season as a time to play catch up. And keep in mind that the local hardware store doesnt stock vintage train parts. Hundreds of railroad ties are in need of replacement every year. The occasional rock slide in the canyon leaves several days, if not weeks, of work ahead, and engines always need overhauling. Thats just the beginning. Many of the engines are being modified to burn more cleanly and efficiently. Two new railroad crossings are in the works, one at Trimble Lane and the other at the Main Avenue crossing. Its also a time for year-round railroad employees to take a vacation before beginning their second season. So even though there will be little train smoke flying these next few weeks, many pairs of denim overalls are getting a work-out.

Gary Clarke takes a break from working on an engine inside the
D&SGRR round house. The maintenance of way crew works to lift a length of track
while replacing railroad ties recently in downtown Durango. Gary Clarke takes a break from a long days work on an
engine. Travis Weeler watches as a carefully calibrated drill press
removes a few thousandths of an inch from an engine part.


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows