Durango & Silverton Converting To Wood Pellets?

coloradorailroads Oct 7, 2006

  1. coloradorailroads

    coloradorailroads TrainBoard Member

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    As I posted on my blog, some residents south and east of the Durango depot like to line dry their laundry outdoors for that fresh smell and are demanding the 125 year old railroad begin using wood pellets or natural gas to fire their locomotives, at least while they're in town. :angry:

    Remember your first whiff of coal smoke? I was immediately hooked! :teeth: Yet these folks will likely try to get the camel's nose in the tent. Soon they will have the Durango & Silverton down to running a specially-modified Toyota Prius mounted on the rails with a coach or two for the hapless riders. :huh:

    I have a better idea. Forcibly remove these pests like a den of racoons and set them in some remote wilderness where they can dry their laundry all they want. Let them worry how they can get their cute little Passat down to Wal-Mart.

    Anyone know how we can let our voices be heard at this meeting?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2006
  2. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Politely tell the D&SNG folks that coal-fired steam is wat brings us here. No coal=less ridership. Less ridership=less tourists. And you don't want that. I have ridden behind oil-burners, and they can be just as sooty as coal-burners. Generally they are cleaner, but the experience is just not there without cinders. I'll never forget the first coal cinder that went into my eye....
     
  3. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    May also need to remind those residents, that the railroad was there LONG before they were. If they don't like it, they can move! Faster and cheap I bet, than the railroad having to make the conversion!
    My opinion only. Take it for what it's worth, which ain't much!
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This the key to it all. They must be complete dolts, to not know of the RR being there! However, what will make me sick, is knowing that some lawyer will sign on to help them. Even though they've absolutely no right to complain.

    The first "rule of thumb" when selecting your future residence, is FIRST >you< MUST carefully check out surroundings. They were obviously negligent. And the RR should simply tell them: "Shut up, or move!"

    :angry:

    Boxcab E50
     
  5. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    This is a typical response from folks who moved in to the Durango area from states further west and from southeast of here. I have delt with this for a long time. The acronym is "NIMBY" (Not In My Back Yard) and this breed of people like to complain about everything that MIGHT effect their small part of the world. I see this with the construction well pads here as well. No one wants one in their back yard. My reaction is that they knew that this area was a hot bed for well pad construction when they came here. They also like to heat their houses and drive their cars.

    I knew Durango BEFORE the train started running again. Let me tell you, it was not a pretty sight. Most of the downtown was abandondoned and the shops that were there were not doing well at all. No one wanted to live there. Then the train started running and almost immediately there was an influx of tourist dollars. These NIMBYS would do well to remember that without that train they very likely would not be living in the Durango area drying their laundry.

    I find this is more than a minor irritant. The Durango and Silverton is one of the last vestiges of the narrow gauge Denver and Rio Grande line in Colorado. It is a HUGE part of the State's history. As such the line is an eligible property that IS listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the criteria to maintain the listing is that the property be maintained as closely to its original state as possible. Thus IF DSNG changed from coal burning to some other form, the railroad would be in danger of losing its status as a register property, thus losing government funding and tax breaks.

    Is the smoke from these locos environmentally friendly? Well we all know the answer to that is no. BUT the railroad is held to certain standards of air quality just like any other industry. If they were running 50 trains a day to Silverton (like the hey day of that line), then there might be a legitimate gripe. Two to three trains a day is a drop in the air quality bucket.... The NIMBYS should be more concerned about the two (and soon to be four) coal burning power plants 30 miles to the south of them. THAT is where a lot of the air pollutants in the region come from.

    Anyhow, I'll get off my soap box now. Most definately write to the railroad. Also write the Durango City Council. Drop a line to the congressman for that district as well. I have.
    John
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Good point. I fear the newby NIMBY's are completely ignorant of this bleak history. Which leads directly to their selfish actions today.

    :angry:

    Boxcab E50
     
  7. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Excuse me... while I just shake may head in disqust. This prompts the question. Why, why did they move to Durango and buy a house or residence beside the railroad tracks in the first place? Common sense the result of a little ivestigative research would reveal that coal powered, coal smoke, steam powered puffer belly goes by their house at a minimum of four times a day in the winter and more times in the summer. Which then prompts the question. Where was the Nimby's head when they made the decision to buy next to the tracks? To say it nicely. Like the ostrich they had there heads buried in the sand. Or somewhere like that. What was that comment about the den of racoons? I whole heartedly agree.

    Take the laundry someplace else.
     
  8. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    To add fuel to the fire (pun intended of course!!) these same nay sayers are also trying to get the DSNG to stop blowing their whistles in town. Unless they looked at their houses to buy in the middle of winter, or are actually deaf, they HEARD those whistles before they signed on the bottom line. Frankly, this lot would like to see the DSNG out of business. The funny thing is they all moved to Durango for the life style, to get away from what they were living in. Unfortunately, it appears, they brought their own life style with thme and it does not include "Coal Smoke and Cinders."
    John
     
  9. fitz

    fitz Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Unfortunately this attitude of the NIMBYs is not confined to Durango. It seems that every place that becomes a favorite for the yuppies to settle in has some form of railroad industry. (Gee, I wonder how the town started up in the first place???). In their eyes and ears, those bad choo choos are noisy, blowing those horns that disturb our peace and spewing those foul unhealthful emissions into the air. Not only do they not realize that the railroads are the reason for existence of their newly discovered (long after the railroads did) paradise, but they don't realize that most of their precious consumables are delivered by rail. Get those pesky trains shut down. Yeah, then see what happens to our economy. :mad:
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Actually, in a much darker, far more odiferous place.

    BTW- People only dried outside, as it was an absolute necessity 100 years ago. Today, doing it that way, is not at all smart. It's downright unhealthy! Nobody of even slight intelligence would air dry anything outdoors. Where dust, pollen, and everything else airborne, settles on their once clean laundry. And if there's any breeze at all, the stuff gets even dirtier! (Even if there are no trains within 100 miles!) If you're only going to take your clean stuff outside, to simply get it dirty again, why wash at all?

    :thumbs_down:

    Boxcab E50
     
  11. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    GRRR!! NIMBY's suck!

    Are these same folks prohibited from buying a dryer? I got mine for 25 bucks from a guy who was moving.. They're not all that expensive. AND, if you can afford to live in Durango, you should be able to afford a dryer. We all know they can afford those high-falutin' fuel-hog SUV's, and mega-dollar luxury cars...:realmad1up:
     
  12. coloradorailroads

    coloradorailroads TrainBoard Member

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    Gonna Find Out

    It's important to note that D&S would keep firing coal for the actual excursions for now. What I meant by the camel's nose is that we all know that it will not stop here. "Could you just stop using coal at night?" becomes "Could you just stop using coal?" which then becomes, "Could you stop whistling through town?" which in turn becomes, "Could you not run so many trains?" Compliance is only met with new requests. It ends only with the question of, "Could you pull these rails up?" :angry:

    I'm going to find out how we can weigh in on this using what meager contacts I have with the railroad. I'll post here again if I get any more news or find out how we can make our opinions heard.
     
  13. Steam Lives

    Steam Lives TrainBoard Member

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    These jerks are the same kind of people that move into an area near an airport and then complain about the planes... Sheesh!
     
  14. EricB

    EricB TrainBoard Member

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    http://anywho.yellowpages.com/sp/co/anywho/moreinfo/?id=69399985&q=laudromat

    I also wonder how many people in Durango still heat their homes with coal. We have quite a few people here in Georgetown that still use coal.

    One of the differences between these people and other NIMBYs is that the railroad was there before they probably moved it. What irks me about that is they are trying to make others pay for their stupidity.

    I'm also going to write to my state legislature. I don't knwo how far that will get me since I am in the same state district as the People's Republic of Boulder. I don't think she will be very supportive of a "polluting" industrial device.

    ARRRRGGGG!!!!

    Eric
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yup. Same folks as Steam Lives has noted. Right on. What's worse, is this small group, will get a lawyer or two, then force their will on the masses....... And at what expense to the D&S? Local economy? Our precious railroad history?

    :thumbs_down: :angry:

    Boxcab E50
     
  16. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    The same thought process and lack of knowledge runs deep in the Napa Valley also. The Wine Train out there has converted its Alco FA-4s to burn propane but still there are many along the tracks who would rather the rails were gone. In many of the vineyards along the railroad you see signs posted amongst their grapes with the circle/ "NO" emblem surrounding the text “Wine Train”. I suppose they would rather all those folks on the train be in their SUVs cruising in a big parade up and down the valley pouring out clouds of exhaust. Oh, the Wine Train makes a point of not serving any of the wine produced by the protesting vineyards.
     
  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Russell-

    Seems to be a classic case of biting the hand that feeds you..... What fools.

    :thumbs_down:

    Boxcab E50
     
  18. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have mixed opinions on this, because while the specific complaints seem spurious, the idea of running the railroad in a less polluting way is a good idea. I don't think we lose much by getting rid of coal....on the surface.

    As for the wine train, much as my foamer side loves to see old Alco's belching forth, the responsible citizen side recognizes just how poorly performing those units are. Even a couple EMDs would perform better environmentally.

    We can't live in a vacuum where we're either no nothing nimbys or unrepentent foamers. Life demands compromise and everyone must participate.

    I would gladly trade those Alcos and coal power for the remaining heritage and a better earth.
     
  19. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    Ah, but here is the problem: the pollution produced by the railroad IS controled by regulation. As more people move in they want the regulations tightened even more. Pretty soon: no railroad (well maybe some static displays, carefully fenced off so no one can get hurt on the "dangerous equipment"). My main point is this, and only this: the power plants, SUV and truck traffic, well pads and refineries in the area produce massive amounts of air pollutants, far out stripping anything DSNG could produce even if they ran 50 trains a day!!

    Yes we should all care about a better earth BUT we sometimes cannot see the trees for the forest. Reel in the oil and gas industry, make the power plants use the scrubbers they were required to install and push for cleaner running vehicles and THEN we can worry about how much soot gets into Ms. Jones' white sheets ;)
    John
     
  20. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    The Wine Train Alco FAs do run quite clean now with their propane fuel. The exhaust smell kind of takes getting used to. Don't smell like no train to me. :shade:
     

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