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Klinke outlines his dream of rebuilding the Silverton Northern
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on August 26 2010, 11:57am by Mark Esper in Local News category
He tells crowd it is about Silverton's future.
Fritz Klinke, right, speaks about his proposal to rebuild a section
of the Silverton Northern Railroad Wednesday night, Aug. 18 at Smedley’s.
By Mark Esper
Long-time Silverton resident Fritz Klinke has a dream.
And it involves about 2.5 miles of track and a locomotive. With steam.
Klinke shared that dream last week with a couple dozen residents gathered at Smedley’s Ice Cream Parlor.
Klinke’s plan is to rebuild the section of the old Silverton Northern Railroad from the Powerhouse to Howardsville for use as a tourist excursion train and hopefully help Silverton’s economy build up steam in the process.
“One of the things that I’ve been focusing on is that things in Silverton, business wise, are not quite as rosy as they may seem,” Klinke said.
He pointed out that the number of passengers arriving in town on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been in a steady decline since 1992, when 212,000 riders came in.
Last year the official ridership to Silverton was 143,000.
“As I tell the planning commission, we’ve been poor so long we think we’re well off,” said Klinke, who is chairman of the San Juan Regional Planning Commission.
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