The day, the long day, came to a final close. The steam engines had been plying the rails, running between Durango and Silverton, Colorado. But now that night has fallen, Roundhouse Night can be made.
The cleverly built narrow gauge railway in and through the mountains of the San Juans made for a difficult journey. The railroad traveled over the passes and along the sides of the mountains. It had solid rock on one side and sheer drop-offs on the other. The steam engines were built for this task, and they performed it admirably. They’ve been running this route for over a one hundred years.
When finished for the day, the engines come back to the Durango Station. Sometimes they are parked in the roundhouse for routine service. Not all of the locomotives are always in the roundhouse at the same time, but this particular night has three of them side by side. Wisps of steam still curl through the air, lending a slightly smoky and misty feel to the scene. Even with the engines off, they extrude power and majesty.
Even more remarkable is that this scene looks exactly the same as it did when they first came into service, making this photograph and journey back in time. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Scenic Railroad is committed to keeping the past with us today, and Roundhouse Night celebrates one of those magnificent moments.
You can see Steam Engine #486 in action in Winter’s Cut.