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Member's ShowcaseRiding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

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Charles Haacker
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Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby Charles Haacker » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:07 pm

This historic train has been in continuous operation between Durango and Silverton, Colorado, since 1882, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives and rolling stock indigenous to the line. It is a family-friendly ride sure to create memories that will last a lifetime while offering a view of Colorado's mountain splendor inaccessible by highway. Relive the sights and sounds of yesteryear for a spectacular journey on board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. (From the website)

Daphne and I were lifelong railfans, maybe not to the point of chasing legacy locomotives around the country, but rarely missing a chance to visit a RR museum and just generally liking trains. Daphne had always wanted to ride the Durango and Silverton (she also wanted to ride the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad but, well...). We had a whale of a time on that ride, in the open gondola for scenic photography and wind and chill and who knew about the smoke and ash and clinkers? I pretty much ruined my new-not-dust-sealed Nikon P7800 (permanent sensor spots) but I can honestly say it was worth it! Elevation of Durango is 6531.47 feet or 1990.79 meters and the elevation of Silverton is 9307.92 feet or 2837.06 meters, which is a difference of 2776.45 feet or 846.26 meters. Passengers are warned about possibly feeling some altitude symptoms at Silverton.

These pictures have all been reworked in Lightroom from the original jpegs (no raw for another year bad me :( ) If anyone wants to scroll through the hull set you can see them here.
Attachments
DSCN1103-2.EMlr.jpg
This is on arrival in Silverton. Shooting jpeg I had to be careful not to overexpose the snow cap and braided avalanche chute on the mountain, which of course pretty severely underexposed the engine. This one has been reworked in Lightroom but the original version, edited in Elements 11 is still up on Flickr. This crazy technique more-or-less worked for me for a lotta years. Raw is WAY more flexible and forgiving, but it goes to show...
DSCN1151-2.EMlr.jpg
After disembarking passengers to wander around the town, visit the shops and have yummy lunch the train is backed all the way to a wye at the edge of town so it can be turned around, then backed into the center of town again so when reboarded the train is pointed back down the track the way it came. Passengers all sit where they were on the way up so that they get the "other side view" going down. No. 482 is a K-36 2-8-2 "Mikado" class locomotive. Ten engines designed for the D&RGW were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925. The 480s were the last ten narrow-gauge locomotives constructed for the DRGW.
DSCN1198-2.EMlr.jpg
This is a water stop on the way back down from Silverton headed to Durango, 45 miles and 2,776 feet of elevation change away down the track. On the left is the Animas River. The line criss-crosses the river at several points. That ever-so-slightly green cast to the water is typical of meltwater. You see it everywhere in mountains.
Last edited by Charles Haacker on Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Charles Haacker
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Re: Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby Charles Haacker » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:12 pm

Here are two more:
Attachments
DSCN1241-2.EMlr.jpg
So, HOW CLOSE to the wall of the canyon? (You can reach out and touch it but if your arm gets torn off it's your look out. And yeah, I did, but so did ever'body else...)
DSCN1251-2.EMlr.jpg
On a tight turn (narrow gauge can handle much tighter turns than standard gauge which was why the 3-foot gauge was used in mountains). The engineer is blasting boiler scale into the Animas River as he crosses a bridge. They've done it every trip up and down for well over a century so...
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Re: Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby LindaShorey » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:50 pm

Neat-o! And how about that backdrop in #1 - wow. Very enjoyable series, Chuck.
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Re: Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby PietFrancke » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:40 pm

this looks like a must-do kind of thing. Wide open spaces and looming mountains make for a wonderful companion to the old past. In image one, it does look like sometimes the wind will blow sand onto the tracks.

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Re: Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby minniev » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:26 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:This historic train has been in continuous operation between Durango and Silverton, Colorado, since 1882, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives and rolling stock indigenous to the line. It is a family-friendly ride sure to create memories that will last a lifetime while offering a view of Colorado's mountain splendor inaccessible by highway. Relive the sights and sounds of yesteryear for a spectacular journey on board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. (From the website)

Daphne and I were lifelong railfans, maybe not to the point of chasing legacy locomotives around the country, but rarely missing a chance to visit a RR museum and just generally liking trains. Daphne had always wanted to ride the Durango and Silverton (she also wanted to ride the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad but, well...). We had a whale of a time on that ride, in the open gondola for scenic photography and wind and chill and who knew about the smoke and ash and clinkers? I pretty much ruined my new-not-dust-sealed Nikon P7800 (permanent sensor spots) but I can honestly say it was worth it! Elevation of Durango is 6531.47 feet or 1990.79 meters and the elevation of Silverton is 9307.92 feet or 2837.06 meters, which is a difference of 2776.45 feet or 846.26 meters. Passengers are warned about possibly feeling some altitude symptoms at Silverton.

These pictures have all been reworked in Lightroom from the original jpegs (no raw for another year bad me :( ) If anyone wants to scroll through the hull set you can see them here.


Great images Chuck. I especially like the first two, because I can imagine them being in an entirely different period of time. There is something wonderful about old trains, whether you're watching them or riding them or photographing them. I'd be tempted to dress one of those up like some I've seen Graham Smith do, with period monochrome processing, and have some fun playing!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Charles Haacker
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Re: Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby Charles Haacker » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:13 am

LindaShorey wrote:Neat-o! And how about that backdrop in #1 - wow. Very enjoyable series, Chuck.
Thanks, Linda! One thing that thrills me more than anything is how much Daphne enjoyed it. She had graduated from U of Denver and loved anything Colorado, but she had never been on one of these legacy railroads. The grit and wind and chill didn't matter.
PietFrancke wrote:this looks like a must-do kind of thing. Wide open spaces and looming mountains make for a wonderful companion to the old past. In image one, it does look like sometimes the wind will blow sand onto the tracks.
One of the main reasons we almost always went west was mountains, nostri monti. Daphne was born in Wyoming and was very much a western girl, but I was bawn in Noo Yawk Sitee and poisonally put da tenduh in tenduhfoot. But we were both in California when we met, and we ended up going into the High Sierra very chance we got. Lurves me some mountains!
minniev wrote:Great images Chuck. I especially like the first two, because I can imagine them being in an entirely different period of time. There is something wonderful about old trains, whether you're watching them or riding them or photographing them. I'd be tempted to dress one of those up like some I've seen Graham Smith do, with period monochrome processing, and have some fun playing!
Thanks Min, and yer right, I should do that. I no longer "see" in black and white and just don't think about it.
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

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Re: Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby St3v3M » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:09 pm

My dad has liked trains since as long as he can remember and like you never misses a chance to stop to see one so I passed this along!-
- Riding the Durango and Silverton

Thank you so much for taking us on the journey with you. So often I think I would like to go there and now part of me has! S-
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Charles Haacker
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Re: Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby Charles Haacker » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:50 pm

St3v3M wrote:My dad has liked trains since as long as he can remember and like you never misses a chance to stop to see one so I passed this along!-
- Riding the Durango and Silverton

Thank you so much for taking us on the journey with you. So often I think I would like to go there and now part of me has! S-

Thanks, Steve, and I hope your dad enjoys that album. :)
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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Re: Riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge (2014)

Postby St3v3M » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:57 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:Thanks, Steve, and I hope your dad enjoys that album. :)

It seems my parents rode these and got all nostalgic looking at your album. Thank you for that! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"


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