Winter Train Specials Rolling into Town
The sun is shining and the skies are blue, so grab your camera and sense of adventure and consider this obvious-but-sometimes-overlooked winter activity in Durango. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is pleased as punch to invite you on any of the following special train packages. All aboard!
Romance on the Rails Brunch Train: Saturday, February 10, 2018. Few things are more romantic than riding on a train through majestic mountain scenery. Step back in time as you enter turn-of-the-century ambiance onboard a historic, steam-powered narrow gauge train that travels along the Animas River to Cascade Canyon. Treat yourself with Premium class seats and enjoy a brunch buffet in the morning (think raspberry yogurt mousse, chocolate-covered long-stem strawberries, red velvet buttermilk chicken and waffles and more), live music, special chocolate treats, a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and a fresh-cut rose. Train departs Durango at 9:45 a.m. and arrives back in Durango by 2:45 p.m. Premium seats: $169; Standard Class: $65 adults/$39 children (brunch not included for standard class; snacks, hot and cold lunch items and cocktails available for purchase). Book online at durangotrain.com or by phone at 970.247.2733 or 877.872.4607.
Winter Photographer's Special: Sunday, February 18, 2018. This day excursion** departs Durango at 8:00 a.m. just ahead of the Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose No. 5. Limited to 75 passengers, bring your camera equipment and creative eye as you prepare for a series of “run-by’s”, set up in collaboration with the Galloping Goose trains. You’ll have opportunities to take photos at the high bridge, the horseshoe curve and multiple spots on both the North- and South-bound legs of the journey. Get a crew shot at Tacoma. Arrive back in Durango at 4:00 p.m. $189 per person. **Due to delays, the 476 may not be pulling the train during the Winter photography Special, although it will be in the yard and available to be photographed.
Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose #5 Photo Special: Saturday, February 17, 2018. For only the second time in 60 years, the former Rio Grande Southern’s Galloping Goose No. 5 will be running on the D&SNG rails. Back in the day, this funny little train ran between small towns in Colorado, like Dolores and Telluride. Working in collaboration with the Winter Train, you’ll have multiple opportunities for run-by locations, including just south of Tank Creek and at the Cascade Canyon Wye. The RGS 5 departs Durango at 8:15 a.m. and arrives back in Durango at 4:00 p.m. Lunch is not included, but food available for purchase. $169 per person. Call 877.872.4607 to book.
Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose #5 Photo Special: Sunday, February 18, 2018. Just as the day before, this excursion works in collaboration with the Winter Photo Special with run-bys at the high bridge, a crew shot at Tacoma and a shared run-by at the horseshoe curve. The Goose will follow the Winter Photo Special Train to Cascade Canyon, where there will be a 30-minute overlap. Goose passengers are invited to pick up a boxed lunch (included in ticket price). Departs Durango at 8:15 a.m. and arrives back in Durango by 4:10 p.m. $189 per person. Call 877.872.4607 to book.
Night Photography Shoot: Saturday, February 17, 2018. **A one-of-a-kind perspective of the D&SNGR! As night settles in over Durango, and the hiss and steam from trains fills the depot, you’re invited to photograph both the Goose No. 5 and the k-28 locomotive, No. 476, in the Durango yard. Capture the routines of loading the tender with coal, filling the sand dome from the sand tower, emptying the ash pan and turning on the turntable. Session begins with a brief safety orientation at 6:15 p.m., followed with the photo session beginning at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. $74 per person. **You must have booked a seat on either the Saturday Goose Photo Special or the Sunday Winter Photo Special to participate in the Night Photography Shoot. If space is available, tickets will go up for sale to the general public 24 hours before. Call 877.872.4607 to book.
- Night Photography Shoot suggestions: Consider bringing a sturdy tripod and a camera capable of long shutter speeds. A remote release or cable release isn't critical but will certainly improve your odds of getting sharp pictures. A small penlight or headlamp is helpful to see settings on your camera and help illuminate the ground around you. Be sure to have plenty of battery power, memory cards or film to capture the unique opportunities of night photography. Lens lengths wide-angle to 300mm are suitable.
Goose Excursions to Cascade Canyon: Saturday, February 23, 2018 & Sunday, February 24, 2018. The RGS Galloping Goose #5 will offer train excursions from the Durango Depot to Cascade Canyon with a 40-minute overlap at Cascade Canyon. Please note that these are train excursions only - not photo special excursions. While you are encouraged to bring your camera, the train does not make stops on the way to Cascade Canyon. Lunch is not included but available for purchase. Departure at 10:00 a.m., returning to Durango by 3:05 p.m. $115 per person.
What is a “run-by”?
A run-by is set up at specially-selected stops along the journey to Cascade Canyon. Upon instruction from the Railroad staff, you’re welcome to disembark from the train in remote wilderness settings for your chance to get photographs and videos of scenes few people ever have a chance to lay eyes on. The train will back out of view and, once instructed by the conductor, with two long whistles, will proceed toward the photo line with smoke and steam hissing and billowing in the cold mountain air. Once passed out of sight, the train then returns to pick up the passengers to take them to the next photo run-by. We will plan on having at least six run-bys between Durango and our furthest destination of Cascade Canyon.
What kind of photo lens should I bring?
If you have multiple lenses, please bring a selection. Most run-bys will be best captured with 55-200mm, but, for some, you may want a wider lens - especially if your shot is closer to the track. Since the train starts the run-by from some distance away, you'll want a longer lens. Many photographers use an 18-200 or 28-300 zoom lens since that works well at all the stops. Generally, an extreme wide angle lens will get more than just train and scenery; you'll probably get the photo line as well. If you'll be joining us on the night shoot, depending on the shots you want, moderate wide angle to moderate telephoto lenses and anything from 70 to 200 should work well.
Requirements for all photo shoots:
- Sturdy shoes. No open toe/open back shoes
- Signed "Release of Liability" form
- Name badge distributed at the Durango Depot during orientation
- Clothing suggestions: while it has been unseasonably warm, bring a coat, some gloves and ear warmers, too, just in case!
- Due to steep terrain and the possibility of deep snow, moderate to extreme physical activity will likely be required to access most run-by locations. Those who wish to avoid this exertion will always have the option to remain on board in the comfort of the train.
- The D&SNG reserves the right to change or cancel, if unforeseen circumstances arise. This includes but is not limited to severely inclement weather, equipment problems and schedule changes. Safety is our number one priority.
- Any participant not adhering to the direction of Railroad staff will be escorted off the property and no refund will be given. Safety will not be compromised.
- D&SNGRR Policy on Commercial Use of Photographs: The Photographer's Specials are intended to provide a unique photography and railroading experience for all. Photographs taken by individuals on this excursion are solely for the use of the private individual and may not be used for commercial purposes without the express written consent of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Company. For specific usage requests and requirements, please contact D&SNGRR at 970.259.0274. Trademark Licensing Agreements will be available onboard.