Crossing the Animas southbound. Departing Silverton for Durango, our Silverton Mixed Train crosses the Animas for the first of 7 times, seen here on the timber bridge at MP 495.25, just a mile and a half south of town.
Although most photo charter patrons would prefer to get an early start on the southbound trip out of Silverton, you can't leave early if you want this particular shot. The tall mountains surrounding Silverton block the sun's light for a considerable period of time each morning, particularly as we get deep into the fall season. In the case of this shot, we arrived at the timber bridge at around 10:15 AM and as you can see, while the bridge is just starting to get full sun, much of the river on the east side is still in deep shadow. There's also another reason why you can't leave Silverton early. There are two northbound tourist trains already making their way up through the Animas Canyon and there are a limited number of places where you can pass those trains. In our case, we're headed to Elk Park, just 5 miles down the line, where we'll pass the first one.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad are all that remains of the legendary Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge system. Here you'll find some of my favorites from these two beautiful railways.