The D&SNGRR roundhouse crew assess the recent damage to Southern Pacific No. 18.
- April 23, 2019
-- e Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNGRR)™
, which offers distinctive year-round rail experiences and special events to passengers of all ages in the remote, scenic wilderness and high-mountain landscape of Colorado's San Juan National Forest, today announced its roundhouse staff is working with the Carson & Colorado Railway (CCR) to promptly repair historic locomotive Southern Pacific No. 18 (SP18), following minor damage sustained during its April 9 run to Cascade Canyon, and return the famed engine to service as soon as possible for additional excursions this summer.
The D&SNGRR also announced today it is cancelling its SP18 excursions May 18-19. D&SNGRR guests whose SP18 excursions are canceled have already been notified by railroad management, and will receive full, immediate and automatic ticket refunds. Ticket holders should allow 10-12 business days for their refunds to be processed and appear on their credit card statements. Passengers do not need to contact the railroad, or stop by the depot, to receive their refunds.
"The D&SNGRR will swiftly repair SP18, which involves the fabrication and installation of new rings, pistons, and piston rods on both sides of the locomotive, and devote the necessary resources to restore this important engine to safe, operable condition," said Jeff Johnson, general manager of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. "While this work will take some time, especially since the company is currently readying its fleet of locomotives for the upcoming Silverton season beginning May 4, we are committed to completing these repairs on the shortest timetable possible, and putting SP18 back on the line so it may have additional successful runs this summer before returning home to Inyo County in September."
Under the direction of Chief Mechanical Officer Randy Babcock, the D&SNGRR maintenance team collectively possesses over 200 years of professional experience maintaining, repairing, restoring, and operating the railroad's collection of vintage steam locomotives, all of which are over 90 years old. The railroad's highly-seasoned locomotive mechanics are part of an ultra-exclusive fraternity of professionals, of which only several hundred exist in the entire world. In addition, five D&SNGRR staff members participated in SP18's restoration at its Eastern California Museum base in Inyo County, California from 2010-2017. The railroad will tap this extensive body of expertise, along with the many insights and skills from CCR personnel, to rapidly complete all of the repair work, and reinstate "The Slim Princess" to working condition.