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Railroad owner discusses future plans
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on October 20 2011, 11:58am by Mark Esper in Local News category
 
A Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train crosses
Mineral Creek on Sunday, Oct. 16, as it approaches Silverton.
 
 
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad held its own this year, despite a sluggish economy, said railroad owner Al Harper.
Harper and other railroad officials spoke to Silvertonians at the annual fall meeting here on Wednesday, Oct 12.
“We’re even with last year, and last year was a pretty good year,” Harper said. 
Harper said things would have been better if not for the huge rock slide that tumbled down on the tracks 10 miles south of Silverton on Aug. 2.
“That was the biggest rock slide we’ve ever had in my experience,” Harper said, noting he has operated the railroad for 14 years now. The slide halted rail traffic to Silverton for 4-1/2 days and was in a narrow stretch of canyon that made it extremely difficult to clear.
“I told the Forest Service that I wish they’d come and get their damn rocks off my railroad,” Harper joked.
Harper also announced Oct. 12 that his company, American Heritage Railways, will take over management of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad starting Jan. 1, 2012.
 

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