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UPDATE 04/30/2017 – 315 SCHEDULE FOR 2017 – LATEST.

C&TS OPENING DAY, MAY 27th, 2017

(Photo: Mark Kasprowicz)

The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango Railroad Historical Society kick off the 2017 operating season of the railroad with a double header of 315 and 463 on opening day May 27th out of Antonito. At Cumbres 315 will be cut off and will return to Antonito with a dinner train. A Prime Rib dinner will be served in Osier and the train will return to Antonito after sunset. Chris Collins will be performing “A Tribute to John Denver” during dinner. Click HERE for more details of the opening day celebrations.

PHOTO CHARTER, June 3rd, 4th.

The Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic RR will be sponsoring a photo charter June 3rd & 4th. These trips will originate out of Antonito and operate to Cumbres on the 3rd then on Sunday the 4th the train will operate Cumbres to Antonito. Numerous photo run bys are planed for both days. Participants can purchase tickets for either day or both days through the Friends of the C&TS. Tickets are priced at $225 per person per day for Friends members or $275 per person per day for non-members. More details are available by clicking HERE. Or through the Friends office at 505-880-1311 or info@cumbrestoltec.org.


(Photo: Lewis Dahm)

The Durango Railroad Historical Society is sponsoring a charter on August 28 to celebrate 10 years of 315’s return to steam in conjunction with the 37th National Narrow Gauge Convention. This is a passenger car photo trip and is priced at $145.75 which includes lunch at Osier. Tickets are available through the C&TS. Click HERE to book.


315 will participate in the RGS re-creation event this fall which will feature D&RGW K-27 repainted as Pre-wreck RGS 455. For more details visit THIS SITE. This trip is sponsored by the Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic RR and the Cumbres and Toltec RR. Proceeds from the event will support the Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic RR and the restoration of D&RGW 168.

(Photo: Mark Kasprowicz)

More information on the event is available from the Friends office at 505-880-1311 or info@cumbrestoltec.org.



Following our unsuccessful application to the State Historical Fund to help finance the restoration of four D&RGW cars – Boxcar 3670, Outfit Tool car 04351, Flat car 6215 and Reefer 39 – the DRHS board decided to apply for just one grant in the next round of applications in April 2017. The choice was the Flat car which requires most specialist word. Both the Outfit Tool car and Boxcar are in much better condition requiring some wood filling and then painting.

The start. D&RGW Reefer #39 is gently lifted from the timber yard structure where we found it.

That left the reefer which had no trucks nor draft gear when we acquired it. Since then a pair of trucks have been fabricated by Dennis D’Alessandro using original parts as much as possible and fabricating the rest. Most of the other missing metal parts have also been found. Some came from the Ames slide on the RGS and were hauled off the mountain by DRHS members which involved wading the south fork of the San Miguel river! Examination of Reefer 39 showed that the roof was in very poor condition and the ice bays were completely missing. The board decided that it would have to raise the money to fund further restoration. At this point Duane Danielson, a DRHS board member set a challenge. Donating $5000 to the fund he promised a further $5000 if $10,000 could be raised in outside donations. An appeal was launched to the membership and donations started to come in.

Just recently a very generous donation of £5000 qualified us for the second promised payment and the fund now stands at $20,000.

One of two 4′8″ reefer trucks converted from 3′7″ trucks. Note the inside brakes. (Photo: Duane Danielson)

We estimate that the work and parts needed will total around $25K – $27K, so we are getting very close to our goal. But there is still time to add to the fund should you wish to help. The DRHS is a non-profit organisation. Please send checks to the DRHS, PO Box 654, Durango, CO 81301.






As the weather turns colder in the San Juans so the opportunities for working on our four current projects become fewer. But the timetable for completing our restoration of two D&RGW Stock Cars, 5564 and 5627, Bunk Car 04432 And Flanger OT expires on the 31 March 2017 and the weather in Silverton between now and then prevents any work on the cars. So the cars had to be finished before the first snows of winter 2016/ 17 arrived. And we managed it.


Both Stock cars, double decked 5564 and single deck 5627, had much of the rotting woodwork replaced at Arboles Timberwrights, moved to Holts Sheet Metal in Durango for refitting of doors and eventually transported to Silverton in September 2015 where they stood on the transfer track. But some work still needed to be done before they could be considered ‘complete’. That included replacing some of the door hardware and lettering both cars. First job though was to replace the floors in the doorways of the double decked car 5564. On closer inspection we found that the upper floor was in good condition and so we left the orignal in place. However the lower floor had rotted badly in the door area and the boards were replaced, painted with linseed oil and the floor edges painted black to match the rest of the car.

The completed 5564 stands on our transfer siding in Silverton. D&RGW double decked stock car 5564, rebuilt to post war standard, stands on our transfer siding in Silverton.(Ph0to: George Niederauer)

Originally the corners of the door frames were lined with 1/4″ angled sheet metal to protect the wood. We had three serviceable liners and had five more made up by Rusty’s Welding in Ignacio, CO. The doors were missing a number of fittinga. We found two replacements for the distinctive door handles and had patterns for the door latches I-bolts and cleats and these too were fabricated in Ignacio. 5564 was missing a grab iron, brake wheel and retainer, replacements were found in our stores. Once all the missing detail parts were fitted and painted, lettering followed.

D&RGW single deck stock in post 1926 (rebuild) paint and lettering and the cars were complete well ahead of the deadline.(Photo: George Niederauer) D&RGW single deck stock in post 1926 (rebuild) paint and lettering.(Photo: George Niederauer)

The stock cars are now complete, photos taken and reports sent to the Colorado State Historical Fund which provided 75% of the funding.

For further reading about the restoration of these two Stock cars go HERE.


BUNK CAR 04432

Box Outfit Car 04432 stands completed outside the SN Engine Shed in Silverton. Box Outfit Car 04432 stands completed outside the SN Engine Shed in Silverton.

Box Outfit or Bunk car 04432, was in better shape all round but still needed a new roof and replacement of window frames, glass and doors. Much of the work was carried out on private land south of Durango and the car was eventually transported to Silverton where it was lettered and now stands in the Silverton Northern Engine Shed where it will winter.

More on this car HERE.



D&RGW Flanger OT returned to is 1942 condition whe igt had just been rebuilt (Photo; George Niederauer) D&RGW Flanger OT returned to its 1942 condition when it had just been rebuilt (Photo: George Niederauer)

D&RGW Flanger OT was rebuilt in 1942 and much of the wooden frame was replaced with steel so no major structural work was needed. However some of the pipe work and operating equipment had been fitted later in the cars’ history and these were removed and the car reverted to its earlier guise just after it was rebuilt. It carries the later grey paint and has been re-lettered.


Since the last report there has been a huge amount of progress on the rebuild of the Silverton Northern Oil Shed. The wall frame was erected in July and in mid August the roof joists finally arrived. The wall sheathing was finished in late August.

SN Oil Shed wood structure. SN Oil Shed wood structure.

Most of the plywood that was used for concrete foundation forms was reused for the roof decking. Hauling the panels up to the top of the building was made easier when a couple visitors lent a helping hand. All this was accomplished between the rainstorms that rattled through Silverton at this time. In fact no sooner had the roof panels been nailed down then another rainstorm soaked the building. Work had to cease for the building to dry out so that drip edge could be installed on the roof deck which was covered in water shield just as another rainstorm came through. The following week the corrugated metal roof appeared and San Juan County Historical Society members Steve Rich and Steve Allen volunteered to be on the roof with Zeke Zanoni and Jerry Hoffer on the ground.The work took three and a half hours and not a single panel had to be cut.

The Oil Shed wrapped and ready for winter. Wrapped and ready for winter.

In October with help from Duane Danielson, Tony Palmer, Mary Ann Dahm, and Mark Kasprowicz, house wrap was installed on the walls and plywood covers were placed on the door and window openings – the oil shed was sealed and the notorious Silverton weather could now throw what it liked against it! In spring and summer of 2017, we plan to install corrugated metal siding, build out the interior, install doors and window, and move in office furnishings and again we will be looking to volunteer work sessions to accomplish these tasks.(Jerry Hoffer)





And here are some of our projects….