The Historic Durango Train's Blog Series Conserving a National Treasure

As discussed in previous posts, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s Locomotive #493 is in the process of being converted from coal-fired to oil-burning at the Durango depot in Durango, Colorado. But the actual mechanical work to restore and convert this locomotive to oil fire is only one aspect of being able to successfully operate the #493 on the D&SNG line.  Crew training, fueling logistics and estimating fuel consumption are also key elements in the transition from coal to oil. For this reason, the D&S railroad has leased a historic oil-burning locomotive, the Southern Pacific 18, a T44 16/20 68 locomotive, from Eastern California Museum in Inyo County, California.

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Conserving A National Treasure

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a 137 year old historical treasure, a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list experiential adventure for thousands of passengers each year.  It provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience, in a very visceral way, one of the last surviving narrow gauge trains and simultaneously connect with the wild and unspoiled beauty of nature while riding through the pristine wilderness of the San Juan National Forest.  And because of this, has been the conduit for many unforgettable moments of joy.

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