DRGW History and Information  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Railfest is the Durango & Silverton's annual event catering to railfans specifically, at least moreso than their regular tourist-centric operations. Every year since 1998, the D&S has rolled out the red carpet for fans and operated an assortment of interesting, historic equipment, including the Eureka & Palisades #4 (a 4-4-0), various Galloping Geese, narrow gauge motorcars, and special runs of the D&aamp;S's own equipment. 2005 would yield a couple of special trains, RGS Goose 5, and motorcar runs, but the E&P #4 would take the year off due to FRA paperwork snags. Still, based on past years, it would still be a stellar few days of railfanning.

Railfest 2005 ran from August 24th through the 28th. Originally, I hadn't planned to attend, as I thought I'd be out of town. However, a few days before, everything got up-ended, and the weekend was open. Unfortunately that meant I didn't have time to still get tickets on the Goose (booked full), but at least I'd get to see it. So, at 0400h onFriday morning, I was out of bed, packed, dressed, and on my way over to Durango. I decided to head down on Friday, since three days of shooting would give me a better chance at covering the wide variety of things happening. Looking over the schedule the night before, my two primary goals were to catch Friday afternoon's mixed photo special, and then to catch RGS Goose 5 on its way back to Durango on Sunday. Saturday had the so-called President's Special and a few Goose trips out of Silverton to Elk Park, and of course all three days would have the usual two scheduled trains. More than enough material to keep my shutter clicking for the weekend.

Probably the most notable event of Railfest 2005 was the reincarnation of DRGW 472. The real 472 was sent to the White Pass & Yukon as part of World War II. It was wrecked, and subsequently after the war, offered back to the DRGW. This was a little odd, since the rest of the K-28 class that was sent north was cut up in Seattle, without ever reaching home rails again. The DRGW didn't want it, so it was scrapped at Ogden in June of 1946. Its boiler survived for many years at the Army's Pueblo Ordnance Depot, however. Three K-28s survived the Army - 473, 476, and 478 - and today, all three are owned by the Durango & Silverton. For Railfest, the D&S repainted 478 into a green boiler scheme, similar to what the Rio Grande used on various steamers, and renumbered it to the long lost 472. Its first appearance was on Friday's photo mixed, and you could literally see the surprise in peoples' faces as they saw the unit for the first time. Truly a special, memorable thing for the D&S to have done, much like the bumblebee scheme applied last year. The rumor is that it will remain in this paint until the end of September, probably on account of Trains Unlimited's photo freights at the end of the month.

Aside from the rain every afternoon and the resulting cloud cover, the trip was a success. I managed to catch pretty much everything I wanted, and the best part was that it was so much more fun than chasing mainline steam. For the most part, everyone behaved themselves and was quite courteous towards their fellow photographers, leading to an enjoyable, rather than frustrating experience. Saturday morning at Shalona Lake was the best organized, best behaved impromptu photo line I'd ever seen. Add to that the first class operation that the Durango & Silverton puts on and it was a great weekend. Well done to all involved!

Since any narrative of this trip would basically involve a sequence of running up and down between Silverton, the Shalona Lake crossing, and various points below Hermosa, I'll spare you the boredom and monotony. What follows are the 63 pictures that best tell the story of Railfest 2005, from my camera's point of view. Enjoy!

  May-2013 Reports
   Posted 24-May-2013 by NDH
  Dec-2012 Reports
   Posted 15-Dec-2012 by NDH
  Aug-2011 Reports
   Posted 09-Aug-2011 by NDH
  Jan-2011 Reports
   Posted 30-Jan-2011 by NDH
  May-2010 Reports
   Posted 30-May-2010 by NDH
  Mar-2010 Reports
   Posted 29-Mar-2010 by NDH
  Jan-2010 Reports
   Posted 03-Jan-2010 by NDH
  Nov-2009 Reports
   Posted 08-Nov-2009 by NDH
  Jul-2009 Reports
   Posted 12-Jul-2009 by NDH
  Jun-2009 Reports
   Posted 19-Jun-2009 by NDH
  May-2009 Reports
   Posted 03-May-2009 by NDH
  Dec-2008 Reports
   Posted 27-Dec-2008 by NDH
  Nov-2008 Reports
   Posted 29-Nov-2008 by NDH
   Posted 03-Nov-2008 by NDH
   Posted 02-Nov-2008 by NDH
  Sep-2008 Reports
   Posted 14-Sep-2008 by NDH
  Jul-2008 Reports
   Posted 13-Jul-2008 by NDH
   Posted 11-Jul-2008 by NDH
  Jun-2008 Reports
   Posted 10-Jun-2008 by NDH
  Apr-2008 Reports
   Posted 26-Apr-2008 by NDH
   Posted 15-Apr-2008 by NDH
  Mar-2008 Reports
   Posted 30-Mar-2008 by NDH
   Posted 13-Mar-2008 by NDH
  Dec-2007 Reports
   Posted 27-Dec-2007 by NDH
   Posted 02-Dec-2007 by NDH
  Oct-2007 Reports
   Posted 21-Oct-2007 by NDH
   Posted 07-Oct-2007 by NDH
  Sep-2007 Reports
   Posted 02-Sep-2007 by NDH
  Jun-2007 Reports
   Posted 06-Jun-2007 by NDH
  May-2007 Reports
   Posted 01-May-2007 by NDH
  Feb-2007 Reports
   Posted 22-Feb-2007 by NDH
   Posted 07-Feb-2007 by NDH
  Jan-2007 Reports
   Posted 13-Jan-2007 by NDH
  Dec-2006 Reports
   Posted 21-Dec-2006 by NDH
  Nov-2006 Reports
   Posted 13-Nov-2006 by NDH
  Oct-2006 Reports
   Posted 22-Oct-2006 by NDH
   Posted 02-Oct-2006 by NDH
  Sep-2006 Reports
   Posted 23-Sep-2006 by NDH
  Aug-2006 Reports
   Posted 28-Aug-2006 by NDH
   Posted 04-Aug-2006 by NDH
  Jul-2006 Reports
   Posted 15-Jul-2006 by NDH
   Posted 08-Jul-2006 by NDH
   Posted 02-Jul-2006 by NDH
  Jun-2006 Reports
   Posted 06-Jun-2006 by NDH
  May-2006 Reports
   Posted 08-May-2006 by NDH
  Mar-2006 Reports
   Posted 05-Mar-2006 by NDH
  Feb-2006 Reports
   Posted 21-Feb-2006 by NDH
   Posted 10-Feb-2006 by NDH
  Jan-2006 Reports
   Posted 19-Jan-2006 by NDH
  Oct-2005 Reports
   Posted 16-Oct-2005 by NDH
  Sep-2005 Reports
   Posted 21-Sep-2005 by NDH
  Aug-2005 Reports
   Posted 31-Aug-2005 by NDH
   Posted 11-Aug-2005 by NDH
  Jul-2005 Reports
   Posted 23-Jul-2005 by NDH
  Jun-2005 Reports
   Posted 28-Jun-2005 by NDH
   Posted 15-Jun-2005 by NDH
  Apr-2005 Reports
   Posted 26-Apr-2005 by NDH
   Posted 11-Apr-2005 by NDH
  Mar-2005 Reports
   Posted 03-Mar-2005 by NDH
  Oct-2004 Reports
   Posted 08-Oct-2004 by NDH
  May-2004 Reports
   Posted 31-May-2004 by NDH
  Apr-2004 Reports
   Posted 04-Apr-2004 by NDH
  Jan-2004 Reports
   Posted 11-Jan-2004 by NDH
  Nov-2003 Reports
   Posted 19-Nov-2003 by NDH
  Sep-2003 Reports
   Posted 24-Sep-2003 by NDH
  Aug-2003 Reports
   Posted 13-Aug-2003 by NDH
  Jul-2003 Reports
   Posted 30-Jul-2003 by NDH
  Jun-2003 Reports
   Posted 21-Jun-2003 by NDH
  Apr-2003 Reports
   Posted 19-Apr-2003 by NDH
  Feb-2003 Reports
   Posted 22-Feb-2003 by NDH
  Nov-2002 Reports
   Posted 11-Nov-2002 by NDH
  Oct-2002 Reports
   Posted 27-Oct-2002 by NDH
  Sep-2002 Reports
   Posted 28-Sep-2002 by NDH
  Aug-2002 Reports
   Posted 07-Aug-2002 by NDH
  Jun-2002 Reports
   Posted 22-Jun-2002 by NDH
  Apr-2002 Reports
   Posted 21-Apr-2002 by NDH
  Feb-2002 Reports
   Posted 19-Feb-2002 by NDH
  Jan-2002 Reports
   Posted 14-Jan-2002 by NDH
  Oct-2001 Reports
   Posted 06-Oct-2001 by NDH
   Posted 04-Oct-2001 by NDH
  Sep-2001 Reports
   Posted 02-Sep-2001 by NDH
  Jul-2001 Reports
   Posted 26-Jul-2001 by NDH
   Posted 16-Jul-2001 by NDH
  Jun-2001 Reports
   Posted 23-Jun-2001 by NDH
   Posted 15-Jun-2001 by NDH
   Posted 03-Jun-2001 by NDH
  May-2001 Reports
   Posted 22-May-2001 by NDH
  Apr-2001 Reports
   Posted 02-Apr-2001 by NDH
  Mar-2001 Reports
   Posted 10-Mar-2001 by NDH
  Feb-2001 Reports
   Posted 26-Feb-2001 by NDH
   Posted 18-Feb-2001 by MDP
   Posted 13-Feb-2001 by NDH
   Posted 04-Feb-2001 by NDH
  Dec-2000 Reports
   Posted 02-Dec-2000 by NDH
  Nov-2000 Reports
   Posted 24-Nov-2000 by NDH
  Oct-2000 Reports
   Posted 27-Oct-2000 by NDH
   Posted 26-Oct-2000 by NDH
   Posted 14-Oct-2000 by NDH
  Sep-2000 Reports
   Posted 30-Sep-2000 by NDH
   Posted 03-Sep-2000 by NDH
   Posted 06-Sep-2000 by NDH

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: First, we are absolutely a not-for-profit organization. We are also in no way affiliated with the former Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, except for being fans. If you need transportation services on former Rio Grande lines, please contact Union Pacific. Our eventual goal is to provide a site which will host a variety of railroad information, both for railfans and modellers alike. Thanks to Benn Coifman for the Rio Grande font - it's available at RailFonts. Want to know more about us? Check the ABOUT page...