Southern Pacific #18 – November 2021

Home at last! After six months of very hard work that included #18 being used on 40 doubleheaders – yes 40! – #18 headed home to Independence on October 28th and was unloaded on the 30th. This having been the 6th time #18 and tender have been on the highway, it was just another loading and unloading, and there were but only a few cell phone pictures taken of the event.

Prior to its departure from Durango, #18 had its annual Federal Railway Administration annual inspection and hydro test as well as some other repair work performed. Back in Independence, #18 will have the remaining annual inspections completed and will be put back together for future operations.

Looking ahead to 2022, we hope to schedule at least one or two events with #18 prior to it’s next annual inspection, which will be its 5th since being returned to service and will require a staybolt cap inspection. We also expect to complete the last of our track installation as well as get started on our restoration of boxcar 1C; lots to look forward to next year.

With #18 home again, all of us with the Carson and Colorado would like to say thank you to the Durango and Silverton, and all of you who continue to support us!

Chris Guenzler photo

Southern Pacific #18 – October 2021

#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……