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Railroad worker witnessed huge slide
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on August 11 2011, 1:40pm by Mark Esper in Local News category
"I could hear it coming."
ABOVE: Reece Hanson, a patrolman for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, watches a train come into Silverton on Sunday after rail service resumed following a huge rock slide he witnessed. The pop car he operates is behind him at left.
It was raining Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 2, when Reece Hanson, a patrolman for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, pulled out of Silverton in his pop car.
Hanson, 22, has been on the job only a couple months. Two trains had already left Silverton for the return trip to Durango that day. Two more would also soon be headed southbound.
“I was looking for rocks and trying to stay about 10 minutes ahead of the (third) train,” Hanson said. Just below railroad mile-marker 486 (10 miles south of Silverton) he had to stop. A rock slide was blocking the tracks.
“I called it in,” Hanson said. Then he realized the slide was not done.
“I watched this whole surge of material come down,” Hanson said. He put his pop car in reverse and backed up. The slide grew in intensity.

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