Conserving A National Treasure

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a 137 year old historical treasure, a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list experiential adventure for thousands of passengers each year. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience, in a very visceral way, one of the last surviving narrow gauge trains and simultaneously connect with the wild and unspoiled beauty of nature while riding through the pristine wilderness of the San Juan National Forest. And because of this, has been the conduit for many unforgettable moments of joy.

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But what does it take to conserve this historical treasure that showcases nature so well and is beloved by so many? This year, 2018, will go down as one of the most challenging years in the railroad’s history.  First there was the 416 fire, then severe thunderstorms, then mudslides, which washed out track resulting in the disruption of train service.  In fact, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was shut down for more than 40 days over this past summer as a result of these incredible forces of nature.

Click here to view recent track repairs: Click Here

While this year’s events have been challenging, this is not the first time the railroad has had to overcome and persevere. Indeed, events like these have brought about transformative changes in the evolution of operations of the railroad. These changes have helped to better conserve this historical treasure for future generations to enjoy in perpetuity.

It takes huge amounts of effort, time, expertise, and resources, not to mention conviction, drive, and passion to keep a national treasure like the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad operating for well over a century. In this blog series, we’d like to share with you more about the rich, unique and incredible history of the D&S as well as some of the upcoming changes that are planned for this National Historic Landmark. We invite you to join us!