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Durango and Silverton Railroad




Winter/Summer Season

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you sell one-way tickets?
A: No, all tickets are sold on a round-trip basis.
Q: Are reservations required?
A: Yes, as trains often sell out a month or more in advance of departure. Parlor class often books up two months or more in advance of departure. Packages often book up two weeks to a month in advance of departure.
Q: Which coach is mine?
A: To find your car, refer to small numbers on the back of each car (look for two-digit numbers only). The large number on the side of the car is the number assigned to the car by the manufacturer.
Q: What is the difference between a coach and gondola?
A: Coaches are fully enclosed while gondolas have roofs and seats with open sides. We encourage passengers on gondolas to bring jackets (jackets, ponchos and fleeces are also available for purchase in the gift shop). All seats on the train are assigned, whether inside or out. Passengers may walk through the train after it leaves the depot, but please be courteous of other passengers and their assigned seating.
Q: Are there Dog/Cat Kennels at Durango?
A: Yes.
Durango Animal Hospital:
Puppy Love:
Willow Tree:
Wonuka Farms:
Q: Are there restrooms?
A: Yes. Bathrooms are located in the rear of each of the enclosed coaches.
Q: Are there refreshments?
A: Yes. Refreshments are available in the concession car located in the middle on the train. The concession attendants accept cash only. An ATM is located in the Durango depot. Refreshment options include light lunch items like hot dogs, hot pockets, soup, sweets and a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Q: Where are the D&SNGRR Museum and the Silverton Freight Yard Museum?
A: The D&SNGRR Museum is at the south end of the roundhouse. Admission is included with your ticket. The Silverton Freight Yard Museum in located at the Silverton depot. Admission is good for two days prior to or two days following your ride on the train.
Q: How many people does it take to run the train? Who is in charge?
A: The train requires four employees: engineer, fireman, one brakeman, and one conductor, plus concession and private car attendants. The conductor is in charge! The brakeman assists the conductor.
Q: How narrow is the narrow gauge? Why was it used?
A: Narrow gauge rails are three feet (36 inches) apart, while standard gauge rails are four feet, 8 1/2 inches (56 1/2 inches), which is a standard based on Roman chariot wheels. Narrow gauge was used because it was easier and less expensive to install around sharp mountain curves.
Q: Is the steam locomotive fueled by coal?
A: Yes. For a round trip to Silverton a fireman shovels six tons of coal per day. On a round trip, ten thousand gallons of water are used!
Q: How fast does the train go?
A: The train travels at a top speed of 18 mph (regular speed with all the coaches).
Q: What is the weight of the heaviest locomotive?
A: K-36s weigh 143 tons when loaded with coal and water.
Q: Does the train operate any diesel locomotives?
A: The D&S purchased "Hot Shot 1" which was put into service in July of 2002 primarily as an emergency and fire prevention vehicle. The D&S purchased four additional diesel locomotives in September 2002, which are being restored and will be used for similar maintenance of way and emergency applications. In May 2003, "Big Al" an 87 ton G.E. Center cab locomotive was put into service if drought conditions might dictate the need.
Q: What is the oldest D&SNGRR locomotive?
A: No. 42 (in the D&SNGRR Museum) was built in 1887. The locomotives used daily are from 1923 and 1925.
Q: Did the Missionary Ridge Fire affect the railroad operation?
A: Yes, service to Silverton was interrupted during the summer 2002 season, as severe dry conditions and the threat of fire was eminent. The Missionary Ridge Fire was located North and East of Durango. The D&SNGRR has implemented numerous precautionary measures to help with the prevention of fires and continues to work closely with both the local fire departments and the National Forest Service.
Q: Who owns the D&SNGRR?
A: Since 1998 the D&SNGRR has been owned and operated by American Heritage Railways of Coral Gables, Florida; Allen and Carol Harper, principal owners.
Q: Which movies has the train "starred" in?
A: Colorado Territory (1949), Ticket to Tomahawk (1950), Denver & Rio Grande (1952), Viva Zapata (1952), Three Young Texans (1954), Run for Cover (1955), Maverick Queen (1956), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Night Passage (1957), How the West Was Won (1963), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Support Your Local Gunfighter (1970), Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (1984), The Tracker (1987), Rebirth of a Locomotive (1992), Tracks Through Time (1999), Durango Kids (1999), Golden Dreams (2000), and The Claim (2000).
Q: How long did it take to lay the tracks between Durango and Silverton?
A: The Denver & Rio Grande arrived in Durango in August, 1881. In November of that same year crews began building the tracks to Silverton. The tracks were completed in July 1882, just shy of nine months later!
Q: When did the train start offering leisure rides?
A: Established in 1881, the train began offering scenic tours in July 1882.
Q: How far is it to Silverton from Durango, and how long does the train ride take?
A: It takes the train 3 1/2 hours to travel the 45 miles from Durango to Silverton.
Q: How much time do we have in Silverton?
A: There is a layover in Silverton of two hours and fifteen minutes. Your train will turn around before departure. Don't miss your return train!

Rail & Tour Information

Affordable Packages
Train Tariff & Schedules
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Durango and Silverton Railroad

Travel Packages
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Durango and Silverton Railroad

Schedule, Fares &
General Information
There is no better way to experience the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad than by booking an affordable travel package, which includes rail fare, lodging and possibly a meal or two. Tours can be customized to include additional nights in Durango and/or Silverton.
Travel a century-old rail line from Durango Colorado to the historic gold mining town of Silverton over the most scenic narrow gauge railroad in North America. Daily departures from May through October. Reservations are REQUIRED!
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Please contact us at: Info@railsnw.com
Rail News & Updates
Dramatic scenery aboard the dome car

There's nothing like a train ride on the Durango and Silverton line!  But with Fall space already at a premium, now is the time to book all your Winter, Summer and Fall season adventures.


Be sure to also talk to us about our exciting and affordable and independent rail packages throughout Colorado.


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