Durango Railfest 2006

2006 marks the ninth annual Railfest celebration on the Durango & Silverton. Started by the railroad in 1998, the event marks a yearly celebration of narrow gauge railroading, drawing throngs of fans from all corners of the globe who come to photograph and ride the visiting equipment and special trains. This year, the event ran from August 23rd through the 27th, which also coincided with the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Durango. In addition, 2006 marked the 125th year of continuous operation of the Silverton Branch.

For the event, the D&S returned former Rio Grande K-28 #473 to the eye-catching “Bumblebee” paint that it wore in the 1950s for Thursday’s mixed special and Saturday’s Presidental Special. It also marked the first Railfest for the D&S’s recreation of the famous “Silver Vista”, the Grande’s attempt at a glass roof narrow gauge open air car. The original burned in a car shop fire in 1953, but this year the D&S finished a faithful replica of the original which runs on the regular schedule trains. Railfest 2006 once again brought out Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose 5, a staple of Railfest since it was restored to service. The Goose made round-trip short turns out of both Durango and Silverton, as well as running through between the two points. Also included amongst the regular trains was a special barbeque train run on Friday for attendees of the narrow gauge convention. What follows is my photography of the special trains of Railfest 2006, starting with Thursday’s introduction of Bumblebee 473 on the photo mixed. Beyond that, you’ll see action from all up and down the line, including the regular scheduled trains, various RGS Goose 5 trips, and Saturday’s President’s Special.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 20D using either a Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS/USM or a Canon 75-300mm f4-5.3 IS/USM.

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