Durango-Silverton Railroad prepares to make a comeback
DURANGO, C.O.— October 2019 was the last time a passenger train took a trip from Durango to Silverton—a first in the railroad’s history. But now, on May 22, trips to Silverton will be making a comeback.
“The train is an amazing two-hour infomercial for Silverton. In reality, those passengers are not here for more than two hours, so they shop, they eat, and they get taken back to Durango, so it is our window of opportunity to really showcase to their travelers as to what our community has to offer," said DeAnne Gallegos, executive director of the Silverton Chamber of Commerce.
With no train rides last year, Silverton leaders were worried about the economic impact it would have on the town since it relies heavily on tourism from the train. To the surprise of city leaders, things turned out better than they hoped.
“Silverton and San Juan County last summer had record-breaking sales tax year without the train,” said Gallegos.
Gallegos said people were still visiting Silverton despite the pandemic.
“This summer, having all those folks come back to our community and now adding the train back on is definitely going to be interesting in the end to study the economics of that," she said.
Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offered a number of smaller trips last year. As for this year, officials said capacity will still be limited and safety protocols will be followed.