Afternoon on the High Line.Late in the afternoon, on a sunny day in early September, D&RGW K-37 #493 takes her Silverton Mixed Train southbound around the High Line Horseshoe Curve (MP 469.5) in the final act of a Trains Magazine photo shoot, celebrating 493's return to steam after decades of retirement. The 493 was also the first locomotive in the Durango & Silverton Roundhouse to be set up as an oil-burner, a move necessitated by the increased risk of wildfires in recent years. Since the 493 made her debut, three more locomotives have undergone the conversion, and a 5th conversion is underway as of early 2022. Eventually, it is expected that the burning of soft coal will be a thing of the past on this railroad and while that is a bit sad, the railroad has committed itself to running steam and regardless of the fuel type, that is a good thing.
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.