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Riding the rails

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jarrell, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Has anyone here ridden the scenic railroads located in Durango , Colorado (going to Silverton), and the one located near Canon City, Colorado going through the Royal Gorge? I'll probably be able to do one of them this year but probably won't have time to do both.
    Would you recommend one over the other?
  2. I've spent a lot of time at and near the Royal Gorge. Love that area. Friends have a bit of land on a mountain nearby I used to spend time on.

    I haven't ridden that train. We were scheduled to last year but our road trip to Colorado was cut short by a virus. I've seen video of it (my kids love train DVDs) and it looks spectacular.
  3. I have driven from Durango to Silverton, but have not ridden the train. Judging from the road trip, the scenery would have to be spectacular.

    My wife and daughter rode one nearby, Chama, NM to Antonito, CO - i.e. the Cumbres & Toltec. That has beautiful scenery also.

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    I would recommend against doing either in July or August as they have nearly daily thunderstorms in that area then.
  4. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    I've riden the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbes & Toltec narrow guage lines, though it's been a few (or more!) years. I guess it depends on what you are looking for. D&S has great scenery for the most part, but photography is tough as they had assigned seating. (You could move around, as I found out too late for the "good" shot. They are very strict about people anywhere near the tracks. C&T on the other hand, was a lot more casual, I was allowed to wander the yard area and when they stopped for lunch, you could wander around photographing the trains (2 meet for lunch, which, BTW, I would pack my own as almost everyone who ate the barbeque was headed for the bathrooms within an hour...). This was about 10 years ago, things may have changed.
    Overall, I liked the C&T better.....
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  5. The Durango/Silverton and Cumbres/Toltec rides are longer and, arguably, more scenic. As one previous poster noted, it can be difficult to get good shots on the Durango ride. The last time we went they had both "traditional" closed cars and open cars with bench seating. The open cars were better for taking pictures but it can get chilly and if you take an afternoon ride, you could get wet (contrary to Chamber of Commerce propaganda it does rain in Colorado).

    If you choose the Royal Gorge, let us know. We live in Colorado Springs. I can clue you in to some free alternatives to the Royal Gorge attraction. There are some city picnic areas with better views.

  6. We have ridden the Durango & Silverton twice & got great pix both times!! As you well know, don't wear white!! We were with one young lady with her nice white sun dress and it was very "mottled" by the time we were 1/2 way to Siverton. Great scenery and I would go for a 3rd time for sure. Don't forget the Georgetown Loop Railway for a shorter trip (close to Denver).
  7. Jarrell,

    I've ridden the Durango to Silverton route 11 times in the past 35 years. It's a marvelous trip. I wouldn't go withing 100 miles of Durango on a trip and not take the train if I could afford it. You'll get a lot of wonderful pictures, so take lots of equipment. Plenty of time to shoot photos in the station and, of course, during the ride. It's one you will never forget.

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  8. Good suggestion for the Georgetown Loop. I had completely forgotten that one.
  9. As a bit of a steam enthusiast this thread really interests me. My wife (who also volunteers with me on the East Somerset Railway) and I will be on holiday in USA at the end of September for a few weeks. We are flying into Denver and plan to rent a cabin/cottage/condo near Rocky Mountain NP for the first week then head on down into New Mexico. Now we would love to visit some American Steam railways while we are there so where are these railways exactly??:confused: 

    Here is a recent visitor to the East Somerset Railway getting a quick check over (after coaling and prior to watering) before taking a main line steam excursion back to London.

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  10. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Durango & Silverton is in the 4 Corners area, SW Colorado, Cumbres & Toltec is on the Colorado/New Mexico border about mid-state, maybe to the East in Chama, NM and runs to Antonito.
  11. Thanks for that information - I think we will be able to fit them both in on our trip:biggrin:
  12. Dave, you'll almost have to stumble across two of them on your way to New Mexico... well, maybe a hair out of the way.. but you're right there!
    I'd like to thank everyone for their contributions to the thread, it's much appreciated.
    I've heard so much about the Durango/Silverton train that it will probably the one we take. Now, if it was just me I'd do both or all three... buuutt.. my wife and I are traveling with another couple who are not train lovers so I'll have to settle for one.. :) 
    When I told my wife I was going to ask this question on the forum, she asked if I thought anyone here had been on those trains. I said, Baby.. these folks have been everywhere. Trust me, you ask.. someone there has done it. :biggrin:
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