SNRR Interpretive Center Ph. 1

The Silverton Northern Interpretive Center Phase 1 goal is to raise the funds necessary to lay the first 200 feet of rail for the SNRR.

Started: 2014-06-09T19:41:23.636477+00:00

Silverton, CO 81433, USA

Enough rail to lay 300 feet of track is now on hand where the Silverton Northern Interpretive Center will be built. This rail was a donation to the project and was transported by SN volunteers to Silverton. Still needed through this funding effort are ties and rail fastenings and substantial earth work for the rail grade.

The berm along side the Animas River will provide the road bed for the initial track project. This location is adjacent to the original Silverton Northern main line and it avoids dealing with wet lands issues. The prevailing grade is about 2 per cent and requires additional fill material and substantial grading work.

Phase 1 of the Silverton Northern Railroad Interpretive Center is part of the San Juan County Historical Society's effort to rebuild the Silverton Northern Railroad.

Rebuilding a portion of Silverton Northern Railroad is a major project currently being under taken by the San Juan County Historical Society. This railroad was a narrow gauge line that connected Silverton with the mining towns of Howardsville, Eureka and Animas Forks. The original railroad was about 17 miles in length, but this project involves rebuilding a very scenic portion of 2.5 miles alongside the Animas River, from a point 2.5 miles from Silverton to the former town of Howardsville.

A Silverton Northern committee has been working on the initial work needed to rebuild the Silverton Northern. In the summer of 2013, the Society successfully negotiated a 99-year lease with the San Juan County commissioners for use of the historic right-of-way between what is called the powerhouse through the Animas River canyon all the way to Howardsville. The first expenditure from the committee was for the $99 lease. The Society has the enthusiastic support of the county commissioners for this project.

Plans call for laying an initial section of track at the power house site starting in June of 2014. Several hundred feet of track are planned that will be built to Federal Railroad Administration standards. This track will be laid on the main line grade of the Silverton Northern that was abandoned in 1942.

The primary objective of the Silverton Northern project is to provide additional economic stimulus to the tourist based economy of the town of Silverton and San Juan County and to reestablish a significant historic part of our history. The rebuilt Silverton Northern will be a key element of a heritage based economic development program for the county that will place emphasis on promoting the several significant heritage attractions in the county that already exist.