Owner of famed Durango train to buy noncoal engines after 416 Fire
August 5, 2018
DURANGO (AP) — The owner of a famous tourist railroad in Colorado is making plans to keep his trains running during periods of high fire danger.
The engines that currently run on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in southwest Colorado are fueled by coal. Coal-fired engines can produce sparks that could ignite a wildfire.
This summer, the railroad shut down for over a month while the huge 416 Fire raged and local officials enacted fire restrictions that banned coal-fired engines.
The famous trains draw a lot of tourists and the shutdown was a big economic hit.
Railroad owner Al Harper tells the Durango Herald he plans to spend as much as $6 million on oil- and diesel-powered engines that will stand in for the coal-fired engines as needed.