The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, with the help of Durango-based Bonds Construction, has cleared the 45-mile track from Durango to Silverton.
Bonds Construction posted to its Facebook page this week that crews plowed through 42 avalanche/slide areas over the course of 14 miles in the past few weeks. As a result, the tracks were cleared two weeks ahead of schedule.
Efforts to reach the D&SNG and Bonds Construction were not immediately successful Friday morning.
The D&SNG’s route from Durango to Silverton doesn’t encounter true avalanche danger until it reaches Cascade Canyon, about 26 miles north of the train station in Durango. From there, north to Silverton, eight to 10 avalanche paths can reach the railroad tracks.
But this year, crews saw avalanche paths slide that had never been witnessed running before. One particular avalanche was near Needleton, which put 60 feet of debris on the tracks.
By all accounts, the D&SNG will be ready to make its first round-trip from Durango to Silverton on May 4.