#18 put on a memorable show for its final trip to Silverton, however it wasn’t without some adventure. October 1st and 2nd #18 was scheduled to pull a special photo train in conjunction with Rio Grande Southern galloping goose #5. Heading out of Durango and up Hermosa hill, #18 was struggling to keep up steam and water. After limping into Rockwood, and eventually as far as Tank Creek, we opened up the smokebox door to find the entire blast nozzle and blower ring had come apart.
To keep going we had to do some field repairs. A welder was brought in and thanks to Forrest Newman and Doug and Grant Mull some creative repairs were made and we were off again, albeit three hours late.
With a steady drizzle falling in the late afternoon, #18 arrived in Silverton just about dusk.
Day two proved much nicer, both weather wise, and mechanically. Lots of great photos were taken in the crisp fall air. #18 made it back to Durango the evening of the 2nd and was put to bed, its summer adventure at the D&SNG having come to an end. A big thank you to everyone on the trip that came out from the Owens Valley!
Many thanks to Randy Riter for allow us to post the following photos from October 2nd……
Our #18 has been diligently carrying on with its helper duties out of Durango, currently it’s made over 30 trips to Silverton. September 2nd and 3rd were a little different than the rest. On those days, TRAINS magazine chartered a special photo train that featured the D&SNG’s #493. On the 2nd, #18 served as a helper to the regularly scheduled train but upon arrival stayed overnight in Silverton. Once the #493 arrived, it too stayed the night, and both locomotives wowed the 65 lucky passengers the following day with numerous run bys. #18 pulled a special freight train back to Durango. The photos that came from the day were amazing and we look forward to sharing some with you over time.
#18 will likely cover a handful more helper trips in the final three weeks of September but its stay in Durango is starting to come to an end. To celebrate, on October 1st and 2nd, #18 will again stay overnight in Silverton during a special two day trip. Along with the #18 will be Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose #5. This will likely be the last trips #18 does this year so if your not already on the list, there are limited seats available for sale, call the D&SNG to find out more!
And as always, thank you Jerry Day for allowing us to share some of your wonderful images, below, from the trip!
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