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Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

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Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
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You may want to call the D&S before riding To check on what engines they’re running. Because of fire danger from coal smoke they have recently bought a few diesels. While the view would be just as spectacular, it would lose some of the appeal to us.
I don't think I've ever considered the potential existence of narrow gauge diesel locomotives before today. Having already ridden four coal powered trains on the D&S I think a quirky diesel powered run could be a lot of fun.


EZEnFHPXgAARLvF.jpg

Too bad they didn’t instead convert them into oil-burners...
They have, two of them this year.
 
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Seaboard92

Conductor
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South Carolina
Much of what was written above strikes a cord with us for our next US journey, to visit many National and State parks as well as natural wonders of America. We have tended recently to travel city to city, town to town, now it's our chance at America the beautiful and this fits in just so well as it includes a train as a bonus.

Thanks
Also in Colorado is the Royal Gorge Railroad which is another interesting line. I haven't done it but I've heard good things. I know in a normal year they also allow you to buy a ticket in the locomotive which knowing you guys might be quite fun.

Now a short plug for my tourist railroad but you should come and ride with me in rural Southwest Georgia. We are technically a Georgia State Park as our management is GA DNR Staff. We depart from Georgia Veterans State Park and have a nice little operation that visit's President Carter's hometown and boyhood farm.

I know you prefer taking public transit when you are in the states so if you wanted to take the Greyhound in if you gave me enough advance notice I could drive out to the nearest Greyhound Station and drive you from there to the on property hotel, and to the train.

Back to the real topic though. Colorado has a lot of amazing tourists trains the Georgetown Loop is also amazing.
 

ehbowen

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Yes, it is definitely worth it. Consider taking one of the cars with historical narration. We took the car with the "first newspaperwoman of Durango" in the dress of her time who provided a wonderful commentary of the sites along the way and the history of the sites as well as the railroad. Very memorable and what with living so close to Durango, we'll be sure going again also. Same for the Cumbres and Toltec line, but we didn't have any narration along the way, just the beautiful scenery. While we took this latter line, the train actually picked up some backpackers along the way, so apparently that's another service they provide.

When we did the Durango-Silverton train, we stayed at the General Palmer Hotel which is a historical hotel right next to the train station. I think General Palmer also was active in the railroad industry back when this line was built. We enjoyed staying there and I recommend it if you decide to not camp. The Strater Hotel, another historical hotel, is also close to the train station and we visited the bar there because my sister loves historical hotels.
I stayed at the Strater Hotel for both of my Durango trips (2003 & 2007) and enjoyed it thoroughly. Classic property brought up to date with modern amenities, and an easy three blocks walk to the train station.
 

v v

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First I have to write we will be shipping our small RV to the US, apart from around 4 or 5 rail journeys that will be the majority of our transport.

This adventure will not start until October 2021, Covid allowing, and should last 12 months except for a mid-way return to Europe for around 2 1/2 months. It's going to take a lot of planning, that's half of my enjoyment in travel. As it combines many different aspects of travel the planning has to start early, it could end up stretching to 25,000 miles long so we have to sort through what is most important to us. Visiting friends is top of the list followed by the wonderful parks of the US. That we may abandon up to half of our projected journeys or visits doesn't matter, we are reasonably good at at responding to changes forced on us at short notice.

That's the rough background to some of the questions raised in the many helpful answers on this thread.

Yes, it is definitely worth it. Consider taking one of the cars with historical narration. We took the car with the "first newspaperwoman of Durango" in the dress of her time who provided a wonderful commentary of the sites along the way and the history of the sites as well as the railroad. Very memorable and what with living so close to Durango, we'll be sure going again also. Same for the Cumbres and Toltec line, but we didn't have any narration along the way, just the beautiful scenery. While we took this latter line, the train actually picked up some backpackers along the way, so apparently that's another service they provide.

When we did the Durango-Silverton train, we stayed at the General Palmer Hotel which is a historical hotel right next to the train station. I think General Palmer also was active in the railroad industry back when this line was built. We enjoyed staying there and I recommend it if you decide to not camp. The Strater Hotel, another historical hotel, is also close to the train station and we visited the bar there because my sister loves historical hotels.
Historical narration, that's a good idea, and a visit to the hotels you mention.


While they have taken delivery of the diesels (bought from the Whitepass and Yukon RR in Skagway, which you may have ridden, the initial plans are to use for maintenance trains and shorter excursions to Cascade Canyon and not on the full route to Silverton. Best check wtih them if you're concerned about it and be aware of this from their website.:
"Damage to the train tracks south of Silverton are preventing the trains from going all the way to Silverton this season. The D&SNG Railroad expects to offer full service to Silverton on May 2, when the 2021 Spring/Summer season begins. To be notified when the 2021 schedule and fares are published, please call 866.675.6900 to be put on our “contact list.”

It is well worth the extra cost to ride the parlor car, Silver Vista. Great service, outstanding views, and comfortable seats.
We don't expect to arrive in Colorado until June 2022, current planning is to establish an outline of a route and what to visit while noting anything along the way that I can go back to for detail research. I expect the rail damage repairs will be completed that far ahead, but thank you for pointing that out.

Will give parlour car some thoughts too, thanks.

As I knew we would be passing close to or through Durango and had heard of the railway, it logic to ask on this forum would it be worth us stopping for a day or so. We don't usually plan this far ahead, but in Covid times many things are different.


Now a short plug for my tourist railroad but you should come and ride with me in rural Southwest Georgia. We are technically a Georgia State Park as our management is GA DNR Staff. We depart from Georgia Veterans State Park and have a nice little operation that visit's President Carter's hometown and boyhood farm.
We would both really enjoy meeting up with you and riding that line, Georgia looks like November/December 2021, does your line run that late in the year?



I know you prefer taking public transit when you are in the states so if you wanted to take the Greyhound in if you gave me enough advance notice I could drive out to the nearest Greyhound Station and drive you from there to the on property hotel, and to the train.
Part of the reason for travelling in an RV is the ability to self isolate if we need to even though we expect to be vaccinated by summer next year at the latest, and although we are big fans of Greyhound we still think that is too early to take a busy bus although we are happy with what we have seen of Amtrak's Covid measures.

I also meant to write that is a very kind offer but not required, just secure parking.
 
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PVD

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Assuming the RV is left hand drive (France?), not UK right hand, it should be great, especially if it has toilet and shower. Make sure you check out power requirements, as shore power provided at RV camps will probably be wired with a different plug/voltage connection some type of adapter might be required. There are many excellent websites for advance planning that type of travel, they certainly were popular this year!
 
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v v

Conductor
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Assuming the RV is left hand drive (France?), not UK right hand, it should be great, especially if it has toilet and shower. Make sure you check out power requirements, as shore power provided at RV camps will probably be wired with a different plug/voltage connection some type of adapter might be required. There are many excellent websites for advance planning that type of travel, they certainly were popular this year!
Yes a step up transformer is required, an adaptor for the different plug into the transformer and different gas bottles with appropriate connectors. Yes LHD, originally built for the German market so all set there.

You're right, we have to get into other forums too but this is our 'home' forum where we feel most comfortable and of course love Amtrak train travel, so use it whenever we can.

It's not a tiny RV but small compared to US ones, 24' long with full bathroom facilities, but no slide-outs, so small.

Camping in general has exploded in Europe too since Covid, guess that many are trying to find outdoor space for vacations to escape from restrictions.
 

Willbridge

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Denver
When we did the Durango-Silverton train, we stayed at the General Palmer Hotel which is a historical hotel right next to the train station. I think General Palmer also was active in the railroad industry back when this line was built. We enjoyed staying there and I recommend it if you decide to not camp. The Strater Hotel, another historical hotel, is also close to the train station and we visited the bar there because my sister loves historical hotels.
General Palmer was the driving force in developing the Rio Grande rail system. He had quite a resumé. His business car was the consist of the memorial special train that I described above. The car is sometimes available for charters.

William Jackson Palmer - Wikipedia

107_7k.JPG
 

Seaboard92

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We would both really enjoy meeting up with you and riding that line, Georgia looks like November/December 2021, does your line run that late in the year?

Part of the reason for travelling in an RV is the ability to self isolate if we need to even though we expect to be vaccinated by summer next year at the latest, and although we are big fans of Greyhound we still think that is too early to take a busy bus although we are happy with what we have seen of Amtrak's Covid measures.

I also meant to write that is a very kind offer but not required, just secure parking.
We have a camp ground on our campus I believe. I have not been to it but I have heard of it. A lot of our crew actually lives in RVs in said campground actually. And yes we are running in November/December. I know you admire President Carter so if I was to make a suggestion be in the area the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Every year we go to his Tree Lighting where he lights up the town of Plains. We depart I believe at three pm that Saturday.

As far as other days this year we are running our normal train 11/7, 11/20, 11/21, 12/4, 12/5, 12/12. We have a few special event days I didn't list for this year. But that is about our average every November. If you want the trip on the Dearing which is our nicest car available you will have to book that sometime in September of 2021 as it sells out fast. I'll try my best to keep you updated on when tickets go on sale so you have advance notice.

Check your Personal Messages as well for some other non published trips that might interest you.
 
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Palmland

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Carolinas
I guess this is nature’s way of cleaning house. We visit Estes almost every year to see family and were so sad to see over the past few years the devastation to RMNP, especially the western slope, and surrounding area caused by the pine beetle blight. Unfortunately the dead and downed trees make great fuel for the fire. Thankfully 10 years from now It’ll be hard to tell there was a fire. Small consolation for those visiting or who have lost a home.
 

v v

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We have a camp ground on our campus I believe. I have not been to it but I have heard of it. A lot of our crew actually lives in RVs in said campground actually. And yes we are running in November/December. I know you admire President Carter so if I was to make a suggestion be in the area the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Every year we go to his Tree Lighting where he lights up the town of Plains. We depart I believe at three pm that Saturday.

As far as other days this year we are running our normal train 11/7, 11/20, 11/21, 12/4, 12/5, 12/12. We have a few special event days I didn't list for this year. But that is about our average every November. If you want the trip on the Dearing which is our nicest car available you will have to book that sometime in September of 2021 as it sells out fast. I'll try my best to keep you updated on when tickets go on sale so you have advance notice.

Check your Personal Messages as well for some other non published trips that might interest you.
Have just checked out the first part of the route and it's possible to reroute and just about make the train following Thanksgiving 2021, now that would be something to look forward to for all sorts of reasons, thank you very much for suggesting such a splendid day.

Will reply to your pm this evening.
 
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