Cement Wall


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Riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is just like stepping back into the past. This Heritage Railroad keeps to the old, established, ways of doing things, and that means using a steam engine instead of those new-fangled diesels.

Today, the railroad operates a route only between the cities of Durango and Silverton, Colorado; if you had to choose just one route, this would be the one to choose. In general, it follows the Animas River, and some of the mountain grades and passes the train goes through are truly amazing.

This section of the route is colloquially known as Cement Wall. Years ago, the tracks were laid beside the normally peaceful Animas River, and for the better part of a century that worked out well. Unfortunately, in 1970 a flood removed the tracks in this narrow section. Undaunted, the railroad rebuilt them, this time adding a cement wall to keep the river at bay. Railroads take things like this in stride, and an occasionally unruly river is no match for them.

The sight of the train in this section is, of course, a very classic and wonderful one.

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