Galloping Goose will hold winter trips in Animas Valley

Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 1:13 PM
The Galloping Goose No. 5 is scheduled to take winter excursions in February on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
Photo run-bys allow passengers to disembark the train, which backs up, then moves ahead for a photographing and video.
A replica plow was installed last year on the Goose. It was fabricated by welder Ken Vance, of Dolores.
During its winter excursions, the Galloping Goose follows a steam locomotive.

The Galloping Goose No. 5 will be running the rails again this winter in the Animas Valley.

The second annual winter excursion will take place over two weekends in February on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, traveling from Durango to the Cascade Wye.

Photo excursions will be held Feb. 17 and 18. Photo run-bys on these days will give passengers opportunity to detrain and take pictures and videos of the goose and steam locomotive running along scenic points. The price is $169 on Saturday, and $189 on Sunday.

On Feb. 23 and 24, the Goose will run again, but without the photo run by option. Tickets on those days cost $115.

“The first weekend trips with the photo run-bys are longer and are geared toward a more serious rail fan,” said Goose motorman Joe Becker.

The onboard wood stove will warm passengers in the back, and a newly installed bus heater will keep passengers in front comfortable. A replica plow will help keep the tracks clear if it snows.

Volunteers with the Galloping Goose Historical Society will present the history of the Goose to passengers. Stories include past winter travel on the Goose, including one from the 1930s where passengers had to jump off into snowdrifts at Trout Lake. Another story is of a snowbound Galloping Goose that was stranded for three days. Supplies were dropped by an airplane from Cortez, and Ruby Gonzales’ dad hiked in with additional supplies.

For the first time on Jan. 22, The Galloping Goose Historical Society will host a school field trip. Fifth-grade students will travel to Durango and ride the Goose No. 5 up the Animas Valley and tour the railroad museum.

“It is an opportunity for kids to live history, and gives them the experience of what it was like to ride on the Galloping Goose,” Becker said.