Aug 9, 2011
Where on their line did this happen? In the back of my mind, I seem to recall an area which had similar troubles in their past?
This is so very sad news; I hope they get in all fixed up soon.
It was more than likely beyond an area called Tacoma. This is above the area they call the "hi-line" which is where alot of the photos we see along the rock wall. In the area beyond Tacoma the railroad litterally runs right alongside the Animas River. This was an area where you can see signs of a former washout as there was still sections of rail still sitting in the river.
This happened on August 3rd and took until the 7th to clear. The railroad sent in its trackhoe and some other heavy machinery from Silverton on the 4th. The rockslide has been cleared and trains are once again running to Silverton. It was in the upper part of the canyon below Silverton near Elk Park, the D&S ran trains to the cascade wye for about 3 days while the rock slide was cleared.
More at NGDF http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,196425
9News: Mudslide interrupts tourist train again
DURANGO (AP) - Another mudslide has interrupted service on a tourist train that runs between Durango and Silverton.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad spokeswoman Andrea Seid says about 425 passengers were bused back to Durango or took a late train out of Silverton.
According to the Durango Herald, Monday's slide occurred about 10 miles south of Silverton in the same location as an Aug. 2 slide that covered the tracks for five days.
Don't forget they will still run trips to cascade canyon wye (you still get the highline and at a reduced price to). I'm not worried about the railroad considering they maintain 5 locomotives and have some of the most advanced railroad equipment ever used on the ng but I am more worried for the buisness's of Silverton. My bet is they have the track cleared by the 3 or 4 after seeing how fast the cleared the rock slide.
Just got the word on NGDF that the slide was cleared within 5 hrs of its discovery and both trains stranded in silverton returned that evening. The slide was 4 to 5 feet deep but the trackhoe was still on sight from the previous slide so they just sent a crew down on a speeder and cleaned it up. Trains ran on a normal schedule today.
That's great news...
Sounds like geat news.
I wonder if there is a way to prevent future such troubles?
The Silverton line did have snow sheds in these areas that doubled as rockslide protection but they burned down in the 40's. And by the late 50's the Silverton rarely ran in the winter because of snow drifts in the upper canyon and lack of revenue without the summer tourist. That is the reason why the D&S only runs to cascade wye during the winter. The snow sheds could be rebuilt but if they are wooden they are a fire risk in a area where forest fire couldmean a summer of diesels and if they are cement they are kinda a eyesore for the sightseers.Alex
Back on August 18, 1977 there was a similar washout. I had back packed up the Continental Divide from Wolf Creek Pass and down to Elk Park where I flagged the first train heading back to Durango. The train had gone a few miles when one of the speeders came back and flagged the train to stop. A thunderstorm up one of the side canyons had caused the creek to overflow and wash the ballast out from under the track. In the first photo you can see the spoil bank from the washout extending out into the Animas River. The Denver & Rio Grande brought a track gang (also seen in the first photo) up from Durango by helicopter. They worked all afternoon to shore up the rails enough to get the train across. The second train was backed up to Silverton and the passengers were bussed back to Durango but we finally inched across the still flowing water to make it into town after midnight. The second photo was taken from the platform of one of the cars looking down at the gushing water as we crossed over.
One word: FEMA!! Where are the Feds when you really need them?