Friday, January 30, 2015

POTD - Snowy Morning Down At the Depot

Photo of the Day: John West
It's a cold morning a few days before Christmas 1961 in Durango Colorado. With the snow from a few days before filling the narrow-gauge yard beside the Depot, a crew readies K-36 Mikado 488 and heads south into the low winter solstice sun. Photographer John West fills in the details.
A caboose hop leaves Durango headed for Farmington. It will pick up its train at Carbon Junction, where the cars were set out the prior evening by a train from Chama. The caboose, two loaded boxcars, two flats of farm tractors, and a MofW tank car are the only cars from a 50 car train that made it all the way into Durango, the balance were Aztec and Farmington cars that were set out at Carbon Junction. The MofW tank car had been used to fill cisterns at Ignacio and Lumberton on its eastbound trip to Chama two days before.
In just eight short years, all the locations from Chama to Durango listed above will see their last train as Rio Grande abandons the narrow gauge except the short but incredibly scenic--and lucrative--Silverton Branch. Antonito to Chama will be resurrected after a full year of abandonment by the states of Colorado and New Mexico and 488 now resides in Chama.

Note: John West also has his own photo site, NarrowGaugeMemories.com, in addition to his fine photographs at RailPictures.Net.◊

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