Monday, July 20, 2015

Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway - Colorado

If you like to take scenic train trips - don't miss this one. The scenery was spectacular. You can take the train round trip or take the first leg and come back to Durango on a bus. I didn't realize you could do just one way, but if you do, be sure you get on the right side of the train. I think it was the most scenic.

The locomotive uses coal as fuel, so you'll get some smoke and dust from the engine. The trip north gains about 3000 feet in elevation, so there are multiple stops along the way to take on water. At one point, they do a "blow down", to release extra steam that builds up. The photo below shows the steam coming out of the engine in a cloud.

Along the way, we were able to see an elk in a field, horses, farm land and some old railroad cars off to the side.

We went past a serene lake surrounded with pine trees and then started following the river.

The river scenery was spectacular and went through a steep gorge in one area.

There was mostly white water from the current and rocks in the river. In one area, we saw some kayakers that were going down the river. They were waiting in a quiet spot, having gone through one white-water area into another that included a drop that looked to be at least 5-6' into more white water. I'm sure they were getting splashed along the way - and that water is cold!

There were some scenic bridges and foot bridges along the way.

There are coach cars, where you'd be seated in an enclosed car. I opted for the gondola car, there are seats facing the outside and the sides are open from about the waist up. That way, I could take lots of photos. Below are more scenes from the trip - I just tried to pick out the highlights, the ride was bumpy and noisy, but well worth it.