Fall Photographer’s Special

Stay Tuned For Information On Our Upcoming 2022 Fall Photo Special

Featuring Southern Pacific 18 and Galloping Goose #5

10/1/21 and 10/2/21

Booking by phone only by calling 1-877-872-4607.  No online booking available.  


Join us for a unique and truly spectacular Fall Photo Special featuring both Southern Pacific 18, on its farewell tour before returning home to California, and Galloping Goose #5 which hails from Dolores, Colorado.

Unlike the regular excursion trains, Photographer Special Trains allow you to de-board at pre-determined locations along the route to experience the pure majesty of early autumn in the San Juan Mountains, form a photo line as the train backs up and out of sight and with two blasts of the whistle, proceed forward steaming past you, shutters clicking and video rolling!  Opportunities abound to photograph these historically significant trains against a backdrop of the high mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountains of southwest Colorado while enjoying the vibrant autumn colors and the free-flowing Animas River!  This will be a trip where you will make lifelong memories!

The SP-18 consist will include the 3278 P-Box, standard coach, Red Mountain coach, and gondola.  The Galloping Goose seats a total of 27. No concession car will operate.  Instead, the Red Mountain will serve as the bar car as well as for seating.  A box lunch and water will be provide and is included in the fare.  Additional snacks and beverages are available for purchase.  You are welcome to bring your own snacks and beverages (non-alcoholic only) if you wish. We will be on the rails all day, both days.

Restrooms are available on the SP-18 train.  There are no restrooms on the Goose.  However, Goose guests can use the SP-18 restrooms at scheduled stops.  You may book Coach/Goose each day with the bus service.  If you choose to overnight in Silverton, you are responsible for arranging your own lodging.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Departing from Durango at 9:45am, northbound to Silverton, the Southern Pacific 18 and Galloping Goose #5 trains head into a full day of amazing train photography during peak fall color season. This day will include 6 runbys and meets at Tacoma and Elk Park.  The SP-18 will run approximately 10 minutes ahead of Galloping Goose #5 throughout the day. The trains will arrive in the historic mining town of Silverton around 4:00pm and overnight in Silverton. Unless you’ve made independent lodging arrangements in Silverton, you’ll have 30 minutes to board the bus before it departs to whisk you back to Durango for the night at 4:45pm. You’ll arrive back in Durango at 6:00pm.

Friday, October 1
9:45am  SP-18 departs with Galloping Goose departing 10 minutes later with 5 runbys scheduled
11:00am Depart Rockwood
1:45pm  Arrive Elk Park
3:15pm Depart Elk Park with runby at Timber Bridge
4:15pm Arrive in Silverton
4:45pm  Bus Departs Silverton
6:00pm  Bus Arrives Durango

Saturday, October 2, 2021

The bus departs from Durango at 7;45am and arrives in Silverton at 9:00am.  The Fall Photo trains depart from Silverton at 9:45am, southbound on Saturday, October 2.  It will consist of 5 runbys with meets at Elk Park for scheduled trains.

Saturday, October 2
7:45am Bus Departs Durango
9:00am Bus Arrives Silverton
9:45am Photo Train departs Silverton  (Goose departs 10 minutes later than SP-18) 1 Runby
10:53am Train Arrives at Elk Park (Photo ops meet 461 and 463 at Elk Park)
12:05pm Depart Elk Park 4 run-bys
3:04pm Arrive at Cascade Canyon Wye
3:29pm Depart Cascade Canyon
6:45pm Arrive Durango

Friday, October 1, 2021
$154*   Galloping Goose or SP-18 Durango to Silverton
$25*      PM Bus return to Durango
*plus 8% historic preservation fee

Saturday, October 2, 2021
$154*   Galloping Goose or SP-18 Silverton to Durango
$25*      AM Bus up to Silverton
*plus 8% historic preservation fee

Sunday, October 3, 2021 (Not a part of the Fall Photo Special)

Galloping Goose Excursion To Cascade Canyon– Join us on one day only for a passenger excursion through the rugged Rockies of southwest Colorado on the Galloping Goose #5 departing from Durango and traveling to Cascade Canyon deep in the San Juan National Forest inaccessible by other vehicles. This is a rare opportunity to ride on this historic locomotive on the Durango & Silverton rails against the backdrop of Autumn’s splendor.

Although there are no bathrooms or concessions available on the Goose, passengers will be able to use the restroom and purchase snacks and drinks on the regularly scheduled Cascade Canyon train during your mutual layover at Cascade Canyon.  The Goose will depart Cascade Canyon shortly after the Cascade Canyon Train departs and will follow it on the return trip to Durango.

9:45am Galloping Goose departs from Durango
2:45pm Galloping Goose arrives in Durango

October 3, 2021
$129* R/T
* plus 8% historic preservation fee

Booking by phone only by calling 1-877-872-4607.  No online booking available. 

Important Information for all Photo Special Passengers

Note: Passengers must have the ability to traverse possible rough terrain, board and de-board with photography equipment safely and expediently many times throughout the day. Although we don’t exclude children, these events are designed for adult photographer enthusiasts. It is a long day on the train, tiring but exhilarating, and is not recommended for children.

Requirements for riding the Photographer Special Trains:

    • A signed Release of Liability form is required for each passenger. Forms will be available to sign at the train station.
    • Name Badge- These will be distributed at the Durango Depot during orientation.
    • Ability to maintain silence during run-bys.
    • Wear sturdy shoes to safely climb on and off the train and in some locations, scramble over rocks and hills for the best shooting angle. No open-toed or open-heel shoes.  Wear neutral colored clothing in case you accidentally get in another photographer’s frame.
    • Passengers must be physically able to maneuver in rough, hilly terrain and be able to board and unload safely many times. Please do not ride on the platforms or hang out the windows.
    • Although the D&SNG strives to maintain the published schedules, consists and run-bys, the D&SNG assumes no liability for any changes to the above. Consists, schedules and equipment may change without notice.
    • If you have dietary restrictions or special needs, please be sure to bring your own food and beverages.

Fall Photo Train 2012

Suggestions for a successful Photo Train:

  • Be rested and prepared for a full day on board the train. If you are coming from lower elevations, acclimate yourself to the altitude (Durango 6,512’; Silverton 9,305’) a day or two in advance and drink lots of water. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • WEATHER: Come prepared for autumn weather in the San Juan Mountains! Dress in layers for cool mornings and evenings and warmer midday temperatures. Snow is not unheard of in September!
    As always, we have put in a request to higher powers for blue skies and white clouds but there is no guarantee!
    INCLEMENT WEATHER: Unless there are EXTREME weather conditions that force us to cancel the train, we expect to run as planned. (Sometimes some of the best images are captured in less than favorable weather!) We may skip, add, or replace certain run-bys as conditions change. Wear waterproof footwear. Bring rain gear, umbrella, and protection for your camera gear. Often a gallon-size baggie can be great protection from rain. As we get into the mountains, inclement weather can turn cold. Pack a hat and gloves.
    Passengers always have the choice to stay on board during any run-by.
  • Wear neutral-colored clothing in case you accidentally get in another photographer’s frame.
  • Please maintain silence during the run-bys as there are many people recording the sound of the train from first whistle until out of sight.
  • Be sure to have plenty of battery power, memory cards or film.
  • Tripods help to get a great photo but are also burdensome climbing on and off trains and in the rugged terrain. Please use good judgment in what is right for you.
  • You may choose to stay on board during any run-by.  Please do not wave or talk to the photographers on the ground during the photo run-bys.
  • We will be on a very tight schedule. In order to do all the scheduled run-bys and still make the meets with other trains, photographers must listen to the directions from the staff. Accidents happen when people are rushed so we will NOT rush anyone. However, we may need to skip run-bys in order to keep on schedule.
  • The D&SNG reserves the right to prevent any passenger from participating in photo run-bys for failure to comply with railroad rules and regulations or directions set by Conductor. If the Conductor has any safety concerns for any passenger at any run-by location, the D&S reserves the right to keep that passenger on board. Thank you for your cooperation in conducting a safe & enjoyable D&S Photo Train!

or call for reservations!