Durango & Silverton
Narrow Gauge Railroad

A day of photography and a night photo session on one of America's most scenic railroads.

From the highline and world famous horseshoe curve to Needleton Tank and the roaring Animas River, this charter brings a unique Spring perspective to the Animas Canyon and Durango & Silverton, one not often captured on photo charters.

The photography event begins with a night photography session in Durango on Friday, May 17, at approximately 7:00 pm.

The night session will include scenes around the Durango Yard and Roundhouse with continuous LED lighting allowing for still and video.

NOTE: The night photo session is available as a separate ticket from Saturday with a limited capacity to allow for a more intimate night session,

On Saturday, we’ll hit the rails with a variety of photo locations – from fan favorites to spots often not visited – capturing the unique landscape of the Durango & Silverton. As of now, the plan is to operate to Needleton (or just beyond). 

While we know K-28’s are favorites at Durango, they have been heavily photographed over the past two years with various D&S hosted events. So, our train is tentatively scheduled to be pulled by a K-36 or K-37 engine.

For the consist, our train will feature a mix of MOW hoppers and flat cars loaded with supplies, creating a work train. We’ll also have passenger cars and a caboose to travel in. A boxed lunch is included with your ticket for the charter.

We’ll depart Durango in time to catch the first light of the day outside Rockwood and return in late afternoon.

This allows a full day of photography plus time to drive Saturday night or Sunday morning to Golden for the Colorado Railroad Museum event.

All details are subject to change due to operating conditions on the host railroad. We reserve the right to change the schedule, dates, and/or rolling stock if needed.

Event Details

Further details will be provided after registration.

Questions in the meantime? Please email Dak at: dak@steamcharters.com

Event Expectations

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Trip altitude will be above 7,000 ft. Weather conditions in May can range from spring and summer temperatures to snow, so come prepared for changing weather conditions. While we will ride the train from location to location, we will be outside for periods standing in the elements.

Sturdy shoes are a must! Waterproof hiking boots recommended.

Recommended Gear: 

  • DSLR, Mirrorless Camera or Video Camera
  • Wide range of lenses to capture wide, mid and telephoto opportunities
  • CPL or ND filters
  • Protection for gear in case of changing weather

Photo charters offer a distinctive experience compared to traditional photo workshops. While workshops are typically hands-on and intimate, photo charters provide a unique group adventure.

Participants ride a train to carefully selected locations, disembark, and then photograph the train as it performs staged runbys against stunning natural backdrops.

The train is expertly positioned to take advantage of the best lighting conditions, often including golden hour lighting.

Each location offers multiple opportunities to photograph the train from different angles as it backs up and proceeds forward, simulating genuine railroad operations. This immersive experience allows photographers to create a diverse portfolio of images that showcase the romance and nostalgia of steam railroading, all while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow enthusiasts.

If you prefer to pay via check, please mail a check or money order made payable to Dakota Group LLC to:

Dakota Group LLC
PO Box 35
Wildwood, Missouri 63040

Checks are not subject to the credit card processing fee. Checks will be cashed upon receipt by Dakota Group LLC.

Please include your name, email and phone number with your check and we will email confirmation upon receipt.

The charter will depart from the Durango. There are a variety of hotels available around Durango, Colorado.

  • This charter has a go/no go date of April 19, 2024.

  • In the event the charter is canceled, a full refund (minus any credit card processing fees) will be refunded within 30 days of cancelation.

  • All reservations are non-refundable after the go/no go date for the charter.

  • If an engine is not operational for the event date, the event may continue with different motive power at the discretion of Dakota Group and the host railroad.
  • We reserve the right to modify the event schedule, event dates or event offering at any time.

  • Riders may be required by the host railroad and/or Dakota Group LLC to sign a liability waiver to participate in the event.

  • We are not responsible for bad weather, delays or cancelations. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items, injuries, sickness or damages to personal equipment and loss of personal travel expenses.

  • Due to the duration of this event, we do not recommend this experience for young children.

  • Participants must be prepared to disembark and reboard train multiple times throughout the day. Participants should be prepared for rough terrain or uneven footing. Please wear sturdy shoes; hiking boots are recommended.

Photos shown above represent the railroad and may not be the exact photography location or motive power included in the charter. 

Railroad photo charters allow unique access and photographic opportunities that recreate a bygone era on railroads across the country.

Subscribe for Updates

Website Design by Hub & Spoke

© Copyright 2024, Dakota Group LLC. All Right Reserved