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All Aboard to the Past in Colorado

September 06, 1998

Colorado's historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which plies a scenic route up to 9,000 feet in the Rockies' San Juan Range, has opened a museum at its 1881-vintage depot in Durango, giving visitors a trip to the past even if they don't ride the train.

Among the displays are two turn-of-the-century steam locomotives; an 1887 business-class car with its own bedroom, dining room and parlor; the boxcar used in the 1969 movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and other rare cars from the 117-year-old line. Visitors can climb inside the locomotives and cars, view the roundhouse turntable and see mechanics at work on the rail's operating cars.

Many of the museum's artifacts, including posters, tickets and maps, were found "stored away in the depot's attic" for years, spokeswoman Kristi Nelson said. Some other items, such as antique railroad lamps and switches, were collected from around the country.

Admission is $5 adults, $2.50 children. For $2.50 more, you can tour the 24-acre rail yard at 3 p.m. daily. Museum hours vary seasonally with the train's schedule. It runs year-round at least once a day, except Nov. 1 to 24. Round-trip fares for the 45-mile trip from Durango to Silverton are $49.10. Information: telephone (970) 247-2733.

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