Author Topic: Colorado Steam with Fall Colors-->Photos of Charters at Chama & Durango  (Read 8054 times)

Kevin Madore

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During the week of October 1-8, I traveled to Colorado and OD'd on steam engines and fall color BIG TIME! This was a really manic trip involving visits to 4 railroads, and including a pair of 2-day charters. I basically ran myself ragged and went home with my first head cold in about 2 years. Having made my first pass through the photo take however, I'd have to say that all of the air miles, road miles, heavy exercise and lack of sleep was probably worth it. The combination of steam and fall color made for a great take of photos. I've created a few Flickr albums for those who would like to see what it all looked like. Feel free to browse as you'd like.

Saturday, October 1st: After landing in Denver, I spent a few hours at the Colorado Railroad Museum. While I had seen Goose 7 a few weeks earlier at the NG Rendezvous, I had never seen any other pieces of this collection before. I was very fortunate this day as the K-37 #491 just happened to be running around the loop. The time of day and the position of stored equipment around the grounds made photography just a bit challenging, but I did manage one back-lit shot of the 491 on the back side of the loop. That was my first live K-37. I've now seen at least one example of all of the running D&RGW classes.

DRGW Locomotive 491 at the Colorado Railroad Museum:

Sunday, October 2nd - Wednesday, October 5th: After a very long drive in the dark I arrived at the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for 4 days of action. During the first 2 days, D&RGW 315 made a couple of runs associated with a private charter for a small group of people. I was fortunate to be able to photograph some of that. Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was a full participant in the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Fall Charter. During the 2 days, we saw 3 Cumbres Turns with K-27 and K-36 Locomotives, followed by the assembly of a 30-car freight and a round trip to Osier. The weather was generally sunny and the foliage on the run to Cumbres was nothing short of stunning. Here's what it all looked like:

Cumbres & Toltec Fall Charters:

Thursday, October 6th - Friday, October 7th: Completing the Friends Charter, I hopped in my rental car and made a bee-line for Durango on Wednesday night. On Thursday, I participated in the Willow Creek Productions Charter on the Durango & Silverton, hosted by Dave Gross. Dave's last charter in 2011 was a home run, so I wasn't going to miss this one. We had K-28 Locomotive #473 and a Silverton Mixed Train with some freight loads and Grande Gold coaches. On the first day, we ran one-way to Silverton, then stayed overnight at the Grand Imperial Hotel, before running back to Durango the following day. Once again, the weather was awesome and our crew put on a most excellent show:

Willow Creek Productions Charter on the Durango & Silverton:

Saturday, October 8th: When Dave Gross' charter finished up, I again hopped in my trusty rental and headed back north, stopping overnight in Salida. The next morning, I headed for another railroad I had never seen: The Georgetown Loop. Newly restored Baldwin IRCA #111 was running this day and once again, the weather was great. Although this is a tough railroad to chase, there are some great photo spots. I would love to see a charter there some day. Sign me up!

Georgetown Loop Railroad:

All in all, I had a great time in Narrow Gauge Land this month. I have enough photos on my hard drive to keep me playing with Lightroom for a very long time to come.

/Kevin Madore

Ira Schreiber

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Re: Colorado Steam with Fall Colors-->Photos of Charters at Chama & Durango
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 11:38:35 PM »
Great photos. Thanks.
After my two weeks in Maine I headed to Los Angles for some modern railfanning.
I did get a ride behind VC #2 at the former Orange Empire Railroad Museum.
All in all three weeks AND I know what tired is.
Back to Denver tomorrow.

Bill Sample

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Re: Colorado Steam with Fall Colors-->Photos of Charters at Chama & Durango
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2016, 08:55:31 PM »
Excellent as always, Kevin!  Thank you for sharing your work. 

Carl G. Soderstrom

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Re: Colorado Steam with Fall Colors-->Photos of Charters at Chama & Durango
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 12:51:14 AM »
Thanks Kevin

Just finished Nov/Dec 1984 issue of "Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette"
It had reports of the The Fourth National Narrow Gauge Convention 


The Colorado Railroad Museum celebrating 25 year anniversary with the acquisition
of the Durango Railroad Museum / Bob Shank collection.

Glad to hear it is still a prospering operation.