Every year, since the late 1980's, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has ran a special train for photographers, and this year was no exception. This year, the trips were spread out over two weekends, the first was September 25th and 26th. The Second Weekend, October 2nd and 3rd, I was privileged enough to attend. The weekend of my attendance was entitled "Silverton Branch Glory Days"... specifically 1949, the era when the transition from a dying Denver & Rio Grande Western branch line to a full fledged tourist wonder was underway. The railroad took its equipment it was to use this weekend, and either painted, or used magnetic overlays to re-letter it all from "Durango and Silverton" to "Denver & Rio Grande Western". Touches such as a authentic canvas locomotive waterbag supplied by Michael Ripley, models dressed in 1949 period clothing, and the actual Rocky Mountain Railroad Club Drumhead (which would have graced these trains in this period) was brought from Denver by Dave Schaaf.
The first day, October 2nd, was ran to emulate a Rocky Mountain Railroad Club trip, with ALCO (American Locomotive Company) K-28 #473 leading, RPO (Concession) 566, Three open vestibule coaches, and the reconstructed Silver Vista. This trip was focused on the Northbound runbys, in the morning and early afternoon.
The second day, October 3rd, simulated the "Silverton Mixed" the freight/passenger train that would have ran these rails in the time period, delivering miners, families, drifters, supplies, ore, lumber, and the like to and from Silverton. A reverse of the day before, this trip mainly focused on the Southern runbys in the upper canyon.
That weekend, there were three night photo sessions, put on by Pete Lerro of Lerro Productions, of which I attended the ones on Friday and Saturday night.
Special thanks to this weekend go out to Yvonne Lashmett, Rich Millard and those responsible for putting these weekends on. The crews who run them: Joe Dailey, Steve Wasiura, Jon Walden, Sean Kirk, Mark Smelser, Pete Mech, Jamie Ryan, & Dot Bodiroga. The Volunteers who help passengers on and off these special trains in the middle of nowhere, where few ever get off the train. Pete Lerro for the lighting that weekend. And another thanks to Jon Walden... for the floor to sleep on that weekend...