The "preliminary" logo for the revived Silverton Northern Railroad.
By Mark Esper
The San Juan County Historical Society doesn’t have nearly enough money to build an actual railroad, but the group plans to lay a hundred feet of track or more by the Powerhouse north of Silverton this summer as an exhibition of the old Silverton Northern line.
“Everybody agrees we need to lay track this summer,” said railroad president Fritz Klinke of Silverton, who is heading the Silverton Northern restoration project for the historical society. “The fill is there (on historical society property near the Powerhouse) to get at least a couple of hundred feet laid.”
A committee met Friday, Jan. 10, at the Allen Nossaman Archive Building and selected a logo for the newly revived railroad (apparently the old Silverton Northern never had an actual logo). Efforts to get a website launched are also under way.
The group also heard reports indicating nearly $7,000 in contributions to the project is on hand, with possible donations of materials also in the works.
Klinke acknowledged fundraising for the Silverton Northern project has been lagging. He expressed hope that the laying of track this summer will generate more interest.
Historical society president Bev Rich said “it’s so much easier to raise money when you have something on the ground” to show for it.
Klinke reported that so far the only expense the newly formed railroad has faced is the $99 paid to San Juan County for the 99-year lease of the old right of way between the Powerhouse and Howardsville.
The short stretch of track to be built this summer could be incorporated into a future plan to rebuild that stretch.
But committee members said that at this point, the idea is to at least get an exhibit in place to honor the historic railroad.
“This is a display track,” said Anthony Edwards of Silverton. “We could call it the Silverton Northern Interpretive Center.”
To donate to the Silverton Northern Railroad restoration effort, send a check to San Juan County Historical Society, P.O. Box 154, Silverton, CO 81433.
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