D&SNG Returns to Silverton After Slide; Introduces New Service

The Highline Express will depart Durango at 4:30 p.m. and return approximately three and a half hours later. Photo by Justin Franz. 

D&SNG Returns to Silverton After Slide; Introduces New Service

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

Colorado’s Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is once again operating to Silverton after a landslide blocked part of the former Denver & Rio Grande Western route. 

On June 22, a rockslide impacted the railroad north of Needleton at milepost 485.9, blocking the line to Silverton. Photos posted online showed rock, mud and other debris covering the entire right-of-way. The slide blocked the 45-mile branch for multiple days, but regular service resumed on Friday, June 28. 

The slide comes as the D&SNG kicks off another busy summer season, which this year features a new evening train, the Highline Express. The train departs Durango at 4:30 p.m. and heads for Rockwood and the iconic “Highline,” a stretch of track high above the Animas River and one of the most recognizable locations on the former Rio Grande narrow gauge. 

“Our new Highline Express is a direct response to the increasing demand for more flexible travel experiences,” said Jeff Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of the D&SNG. “This evening excursion offers a condensed but immersive experience of the Animas Valley and iconic canyon views along the Highline, allowing even the busiest travelers to appreciate the beauty and history of our region.”

​​Tickets for the Highline Express are limited, with only 10 exclusive evening excursions available in July. More dates may be added later this summer, but availability is not guaranteed. Passengers can reserve a seat by visiting durangotrain.com/events/highline-express.

This article was posted on: July 1, 2024