October 16th and 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, for the return trip to Durango. Again, there will be ample photo run by opportunities offered throughout the day.
A box lunch for each guest is included for both days of the excursion.
Overnight accommodations are NOT included in the price, however a block of rooms is available on a first come, first served basis at the Grand Imperial Hotel in Silverton at a 15% discounted price. Rooms can be reserved by calling the Grand Imperial Hotel directly at (970) 387-5527.
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.
Durango Departure: 6:30 AM
Silverton Arrival: 4:30 PM
Cocktail Hour: 5:30 PM
Silverton Departure 9:00 AM
Durango Arrival 6:30 PM
$795. Coach seating (includes lunch)
*plus 8% historic preservation fee
Booking by phone only by calling 1-877-872-4607. No online booking available.
Important Information for all Photo Special Passengers
Note: Passengers must have the ability to traverse possible rough terrain, board and de-board with photography equipment safely and expediently many times throughout the day. Although we don’t exclude children, these events are designed for adult photographer enthusiasts. It is a long day on the train, tiring but exhilarating, and is not recommended for children.
Requirements for riding the Photographer Special Trains:
- A signed Release of Liability form is required for each passenger. Forms will be available to sign at the train station.
- Name Badge- These will be distributed at the Durango Depot during orientation.
- Ability to maintain silence during run-bys.
- Wear sturdy shoes to safely climb on and off the train and in some locations, scramble over rocks and hills for the best shooting angle. No open-toed or open-heel shoes. Wear neutral colored clothing in case you accidentally get in another photographer’s frame.
- Passengers must be physically able to maneuver in rough, hilly terrain and be able to board and unload safely many times. Please do not ride on the platforms or hang out the windows.
- Although the D&SNG strives to maintain the published schedules, consists and run-bys, the D&SNG assumes no liability for any changes to the above. Consists, schedules and equipment may change without notice.
- If you have dietary restrictions or special needs, please be sure to bring your own food and beverages.
Suggestions for a successful Photo Train:
- Be rested and prepared for a full day on board the train. If you are coming from lower elevations, acclimate yourself to the altitude (Durango 6,512’; Silverton 9,305’) a day or two in advance and drink lots of water. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
- WEATHER: Come prepared for autumn weather in the San Juan Mountains! Dress in layers for cool mornings and evenings and warmer midday temperatures. Snow is not unheard of in October!
As always, we have put in a request to higher powers for blue skies and white clouds but there is no guarantee!
INCLEMENT WEATHER: Unless there are EXTREME weather conditions that force us to cancel the train, we expect to run as planned. (Sometimes some of the best images are captured in less than favorable weather!) We may skip, add, or replace certain run-bys as conditions change. Wear waterproof footwear. Bring rain gear, umbrella, and protection for your camera gear. Often a gallon-size baggie can be great protection from rain. As we get into the mountains, inclement weather can turn cold. Pack a hat and gloves.
Passengers always have the choice to stay on board during any run-by.
- Wear neutral-colored clothing in case you accidentally get in another photographer’s frame.
- Please maintain silence during the run-bys as there are many people recording the sound of the train from first whistle until out of sight.
- Be sure to have plenty of battery power, memory cards or film.
- Tripods help to get a great photo but are also burdensome climbing on and off trains and in the rugged terrain. Please use good judgment in what is right for you.
- You may choose to stay on board during any run-by. Please do not wave or talk to the photographers on the ground during the photo run-bys.
- We will be on a very tight schedule. In order to do all the scheduled run-bys and still make the meets with other trains, photographers must listen to the directions from the staff. Accidents happen when people are rushed so we will NOT rush anyone. However, we may need to skip run-bys in order to keep on schedule.
- The D&SNG reserves the right to prevent any passenger from participating in photo run-bys for failure to comply with railroad rules and regulations or directions set by Conductor. If the Conductor has any safety concerns for any passenger at any run-by location, the D&S reserves the right to keep that passenger on board. Thank you for your cooperation in conducting a safe & enjoyable D&S Photo Train!