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Riding The Narrow Gauge in the 1950's


Take a ride back in time! copyright 2003. Approximately 60 minutes Color. We are sharing 8mm Color home movies by Warren W. Scholl from tow separate 1950's era trips to the Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge in Colorado and New Mexico. The primary focus is a 3-day 1954 Rocky Mountain Railroad Club trip from Alamosa to Durango with a round trip to Silverton. Most of the coaches are still in San Juan green in 1954. A rare sight is the operation of Army diesel 4700N on the point of K-28 #476 (dressed for a movie) from the Durango to Silverton. The 1954 trip also includes a brief stop in Salida where we see a wrecked 485. The 1956 trip is a 2-day Rocky Mountain Railroad Club Trip form Alamosa to Durango and return The 1954 trip featured K-36 number #487, and the 1956 trip had K-37 #490 doing the honors. After the excursion trip is over we see some freight action, including a nice segment pacing a double-headed freight from Alamosa to Antonito with engines $495 and #486. Watching the fireman shovel the coal is a treat in this section. Then its on to Durango by car on the gravel roads, and riding the first Silverton Train of the 1956 season with #476. There is good action from the cupola of the caboose which is two gondolas of ballast behind the tender We get to see the ballast being dumped along the Animas River, and other switching at Elk Park later on. Much of the 1954 footage was shot from the cupola of the caboose behind the #487 which gives a great view of the railroad. On both trips you will see several meets with freight trains, servicing in Alamosa, Chama, and Durango, plus some runbys. Doubleheading on the eastward run from Chama to Cumbres is also shown. While the quality of these 50 year old films is not pristine by any measure, there are some rare scenes, including the now abandoned section between Chama and Durango plus many other scenes of interest. Informative background narration follows the films along with appropriate music. No train sounds were ever made with these silent films, thus we do not wish to fake them. We also carry more modern sound videos of the current tourist trains that operate on the remains of the old D&RGW.