The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad plans to make a train trip more convenient for travelers coming from the north this summer.
Starting on Thursday travelers can ride the train from Silverton to Durango and catch an evening shuttle back to Silverton, said Christian Robbins, spokesman for the train. The train will offer the round-trip tickets through Sept. 30.
“It’s a really attractive product for people that are visiting that part of the state or residents of that part of the state,” Robbins said.
For those staying in Ouray, Ridgway, Delta or other towns north and northwest of Durango, the new option will cut on the morning drive time into Durango, he said.
The train has 15 round-trip tickets from Silverton per day for sale, although it could expand the available tickets with a second shuttle, Robbins said.
Thus far, the train has had significant interest in the tickets and people have left positive comments on the train’s Facebook ads, such as “it’s about time,” Robbins said.
As part of the change, the train will also offer a late shuttle from Silverton back to Durango that will leave at 8:30 p.m. for those who want to spend more time in Silverton during the day, he said.
A few people bought one-way tickets from Silverton to Durango in the past, but the train did not offer an evening return shuttle, Robbins said.
Compared to the number of people leaving from Durango, the train is starting with a small number of tickets leaving from Silverton. At the height of the summer season up to 1,200 people per day will ride the train.
“This is really dipping our toe in the water,” he said.
He expects the tickets will offer a convenient option for those who buy train tickets in Silverton for a same day ride and perhaps encourage more people to spend the night in Silverton.
“There is no way this is going to cannibalize the Durango market,” he said.