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RAILROAD HISTORICAL PARK

 
 

When D&S sold the north rail yard, between College (6th) Street and 12th Street, except for its main line, our hopes for displaying our restored railcars in Durango disappeared. After pursing several possible sites along the D&S track in and north of Durango, the solution came via a joint vision of DRHS and the San Juan County Historical Society (SJCHS) to create the Silverton Historical Railroad Park.

The Park is centered on the SN engine house, oil shed, and track. Additional tracks will be added for displaying up to a dozen railcars and their interpretive signs. The SN oil shed will be reconstructed and rehabilitated for practical use by DRHS and SJCHS.

The Durango Railroad Historical Society and the San Juan County Historical Society are the principal partners. Other partners are the Town of Silverton (permission to place track on the Cement Street right of way), Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (permission to connect to their track and an easement for two display tracks and car shed on their property), Galloping Goose Society of Dolores (permanent loan of track and ties), and City of Durango (first, permission to store Locomotive 315 in Silverton, then transfer ownership of the 315 to DRHS).

 

THE VISION

  • Silverton Northern (SN) engine house as storage and maintenance facility

  • Three blocks of reconstructed SN track along for Cement Street for use in testing the 315 and temporary use in displaying railcars

  • Full restoration of engine house with insulation, heat, electricity, water, bathroom (State Historical Fund supported assessment completed).

  • Outfitting a metal shop and a wood shop at the back of the engine house

  • Reconstruction of the SN oil shed as a combined office, library, conference room, break room

  • Use of the engine house also as a museum for displaying railroad artifacts

  • Double display tracks in a line between the SN engine house and the D&S depot

  • The rail yard as a private yard, not open to commercial use, per agreement with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission

  • Raised platform at car floor level between the double tracks

  • Shed over the double tracks and platform to protect cars from sun, rain, and snow

  • Easy access to the public with path between engine house and depot, including ramps to the platform for wheelchairs

  • Interpretive signs on platform about history and significance of each car

  • Interpretive sign about the development of ancient trails to railroads and vehicle roads

  • Interpretive sign about the four railroads that served Silverton

  • Extra cars beside engine house for storage

Att 8-Silv RR Hist Park

 

LEAD ROLES

DRHS leads projects dealing with tracks, car shed, platform, 315 operation and maintenance, D&RGW railcars restoration, and interpretive signs.

SJCHS leads projects dealing with SN engine house restoration, SN oil shed reconstruction and rehabilitation, SN railcars restoration, and Silverton Railroad (SRR) railcars restoration.

 

STATUS OF RAILROAD PARK

COMPLETED

  • SN track and spur along Cement Street, with dock

  • SN engine house track and service pits

  • SN engine front foundation and railroad doors

  • Easement with D&S for display tracks and car shed

  • Reefer 54 placed beside engine house for storage

FUTURE PLANS

  • SN oil shed reconstructed as office, library, conference room, break room

  • Restore Reefer 54 body cosmetically and add shelving for storage

  • Double SN display tracks between SN engine house and D&S depot for twelve railcars

  • Raised platform with interpretive signs between display tracks

  • Car shed to cover twelve railcars

  • SN engine house restoration completed as a living museum

  • Short storage track on easterly side of SN engine house for 3–4 railcars

 

All these projects are equally important in preserving our fragile railroad history. Please consider supporting us financially either by becoming a member of the DRHS or by making a donation of your choice via PayPal. We carry no administrative charges and ALL donations go directly into our restoration projects.