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 Post subject: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 403
Location: Milford,Mass
Hi All
I was just up on another website, as of yesterday, ALL STEAM OPERATIONS ARE SUSPENDED on the Durango & Silverton until June 10th because of fire.
They have Two trains stopped at Silverton, and busing passengers, back to Durango, because of fire. All people living in Hermosa, and along route 550, are affected. There is talk about also stopping operations on C&T because of fire, just as a precaution.
Also, the people are saying the fire was started by the D&S, others are saying different.
I Just wanted to pass this along.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
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Location: Youngstown, OH
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/durango-colorado-416-fire-evacuations-latest-updates-today-2018-06-02/

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 Post subject: Durango & Silverton Closed By Wildfire
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8786
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Of all the articles on the fire and closure so far, this has to be the most intriguing: it features a name frequently raised in this forum.

https://durangoherald.com/articles/2271 ... k-416-fire

Quote:
Al Chione loves to watch the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train chug past his house several times a day north of Durango.

But as a former volunteer firefighter, he is also keenly aware of the fire danger posed by the coal-fired locomotive during spring and summer. He tends to scan the tracks and surrounding mountains every time a locomotive passes.

It was during one of these scans at 9:45 a.m. Friday that he saw a “wisp of smoke.” He ran to the other side of his house for a better view, and by that time, there was no mistaking it – near a bend in the tracks was a fire, he said.

He told his wife, Bernadette, to call a neighbor and the fire department.

“I said, ‘This is a really bad one,’” he said.

Federal firefighters have not released the cause of the 416 Fire. A federal wildfire information database, InciWeb, lists the cause as “unknown.”

A longitude and latitude entered into the database pinpoints the fire just west of the train tracks in an area where nothing else is around. Chione confirmed that is about where the fire started.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is not taking responsibility for the fire, but that could change based on the outcome of local and federal fire investigations, General Manager John Harper told The Durango Herald on Tuesday.

“We are working with the investigators to see what the cause is,” he said Tuesday. “There are three possible causes right now. Whichever one of the causes it happens (to be), then we will work with them to find a solution.”


More at the link. Avoid the comments--it gets ugly.

Related article from March: https://durangoherald.com/articles/2127 ... mitigation

Railroad is shut down until at least the 17th. The D&SNGRR is also canceling the family-oriented dinosaur train experience, The T-REX Express, originally scheduled for the weekends of June 16-17 and June 23-24.

Meanwhile, Arizona wildfire risk is so high that there are literally flashing highway signs advising drivers "NO SMOKING"--as close to a statewide ban on smoking as you're ever likely to see--and large portions of the national forest land are off-limits to all.

InciWeb updates on the 416 Fire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5822/


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 Post subject: Re: Durango & Silverton Closed By Wildfire
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Posts: 246
Location: Northern WV
But here in WV we're more than 10 inches of rain ahead of where we would be in a "normal" year.

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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 111
Things are not looking good -

"American Heritage Railways, parent company of the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum, today announced the #MRRR is suspending passenger service through August 3, 2018, due to the long-term operational and financial impact posed by the current #416Fire in Durango, Colorado on the overall business of #MRRR sister company"

from the Mt. Rainier Railroad facebook page.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5452
Location: southeastern USA
Interesting. Why invest in MRSRR if it needs subsidy from D&SNGRR to the extent that losing what cash flow it has is that critical? There's got to be something planned for down the line that I think will be very interesting if it happens...... wish I knew what it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
The D&SNGR is probably going to have to seriously consider converting at least one or two locomotives to burn liquid bio-fuel for operations during peak fire danger times. There is a serious threat that the local NIMBY's and even the state or feds could call for the total end of steam operations if this and other future fires have really bad outcomes. For quite a number of years now I have been calling for any group planning a major steam locomotive restoration to seriously consider conversion to burning liquid bio-fuel just for these reasons, and also because despite the nonsensical argument that somehow burning coal is patriotic, it does directly contribute to man-made climate change. The live steam community in the west is ahead of the curve, recognizing the fire danger of burning coal in locomotives. The Train Mountain club in Oregon, which is located in pine wilderness, only allows propane-fired steam locomotives to operate there due to the persistent high fire danger in the region over the past decade or so. I'm also told that it is getting harder and harder to find small quantities of the high quality, low ash coal preferred to burn in small steam locomotives anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:41 am
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Location: Stockton, New Jersey
We are having no problems in getting good quality coal for our live steam locomotives in both New Jersey and Texas. We are currently trying to blend in some hard coal with our soft coal to cut down on smoke.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8786
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
My understanding of the situation is that it's not simply a matter of shoving an oil- or LNG-burner into the firebox of a boiler designed for coal (see Reading 2100's fiasco in Washington as Exhibit A). But I also think it's folly to think they can continue to get away with running coal-burning steamers in anything but monsoon or snow season.

Will those with more experience and interest in narrow gauge steam (paging the CEO of a certain Northeast steam railroad!) chime in as to whether conversion of a D&RGW K Mikado to non-coal fuel is a realistic ambition, or are we literally going to have to have a couple new steamers built to a "new" redesigned "D&RGW" "K-38" or whatever class? And how many?

And if they don't have enough cash reserve to keep a separate operation running, would they be able to find the money to build some oil-burners? Even if they save money in not running fire-supression equipment behind every train?


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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
I'd not assume it's about insufficient cash - more abut competing priorities. Movjkng along...... way back in the 1990s when I was at Georgetown Loop, I was interviewed by the Durango paper about oil conversion. I didn't allow them to drag me into what was a local pissing contest about people who moved from the Pacific to Durango and later discovered that the town was not only populated but built by a steam railroad, which comes with all associated byproducts. Besides, they were doing very well and the last thing they needed was unsolicited advice from the little guys up in the northeast.

However, there's no reason they can't run on oil if they so choose. There's modern light oil burning vaporization burners developed for new build rack engines by Sulzer that, when fired correctly, emit less nasty stuff than diesel electric locomotives in the same service. Or, there's the old school flame throwers that can handle bio as well as heavy petroleum and waste oils. Either one would technically work, but again, not going to step on toes where success is happening with anything like encouragement or suggestion. They know their business and situation better than any of us do.

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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:55 am
Posts: 88
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
My understanding of the situation is that it's not simply a matter of shoving an oil- or LNG-burner into the firebox of a boiler designed for coal (see Reading 2100's fiasco in Washington as Exhibit A).


It was probably the right decision but it was obviously poorly designed. If you look for experts, please contact Mr. Roger Waller from DLM. He knows what he is doing, as he does it for a living.


Quote:
Will those with more experience and interest in narrow gauge steam (paging the CEO of a certain Northeast steam railroad!) chime in as to whether conversion of a D&RGW K Mikado to non-coal fuel is a realistic ambition, or are we literally going to have to have a couple new steamers built to a "new" redesigned "D&RGW" "K-38" or whatever class?


Who is this ominous "we"?

I believe a way to go will be to convert the steamers in such affected regions to oil or gas. They won't be the first ones.

I know the Durango and Silverton men always took sparks very seriously and searched for fires after the trains passed, so this surely did not happen due to neglect.


Mike


Last edited by 484Mike on Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:39 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 1:12 am
Posts: 80
My concern being d&s is under state scrutiny is the liability of fires like this during a drought. As much as I prefer the d&rg steamers to burn coal, I would rather they converted a couple steamers to oil during extreme fire hazard times. It's better to do that then see the line close for good due to a nasty fire.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:02 pm 
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Posts: 22
Location: Alberta, Canada
This would not be the first time a D&S locomotive has started a trackside fire, and they are still operating. Best to wait and see how bad the fallout from this one is before making any big decisions, and highlight the fire-control actions the railroad already takes.

Going out on a limb here, but ATVs, cigarette butts and campfires probably start more forest fires than the trains. But maybe suspending operations during hot, dry conditions is the best idea.

Oil-fired engines and diesels have the potential to start fires too, nothing is perfect.

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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:21 pm
Posts: 421
Location: Columbus, OH
Many years ago the D&S bough up every available 3' diesel, including Arkansas Lime units and steel mill units that were at the EBT. At least two were made operable and painted as Big Al and Hot Shot. Why are these in operation pulling at least some trains? Granted they do not have the capacity of the steamers but at least they would be generating revenue.

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 Post subject: Re: Fire in Colorado D&S RR affected
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 111
Well for one... the furthest they could possibly pull trains right now is to the wye and back.

Second... I'm willing to guess that due to certain circumstances they are not allowed to run any trains right now. Pretty sure this is going to be a pretty serious situation for a long time.

I love Durango, both the town and the railroad. There is such a neat history there that I don't think any other railroad has. This whole incident has made me very sad and I hope the outcome is ok for everyone involved.


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