Durango Herald Small Press

In the Shadow fo the Rocks

ISBN 978-1-887805-36-0

8.5” x 11” Soft cover, 154 pages, Color
Price: $18.54


Seasons of the Narrow Gauge

A Year in the Life of the Durango & Silverton

Duane A. Smith
Elizabeth A. Green
with an epilogue by Allen C. Harper

Seasons of the Narrow Gauge gloriously explores the four seasons of the historic
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Featuring a brief written history, followed by
a myriad of beautiful color photographs, this book immerses the reader in all that endears
this train to its fans. This handsome compilation showcases what keeps people coming back
to the D&SNGR, and importantly, what makes it all possible.

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From the Denver Post:

Most people know the Durango & Silverton narrow-gauge in the summer. But the trains run from May into fall. There are even a few winter excursions. The color photographs in Seasons of the Narrow Gauge show the train and its passengers in their full glory.

While the summer shots are lovely, the winter photographs with the little train steaming along in the snow are more dramatic. There is a spectacular picture of blowing snow in front of the train, snow so thick it obscures the engineer's vision.

The authors include a short history of the railroad along with comments from longtime employees. A 17-year veteran notes, "I like being an engineer. This is where my heart is. I like the machine itself — it's almost like it's human."

Durango Herald:

Many authors have tried to capsulate more than 120 years of Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad history into something manageable, but few have succeeded like local historians Duane Smith and Beth Green.

The new book comes in under 150 pages but most of the text is finished by the 20th. That’s where the authors put one of the most succinct and reader-friendly synopses of the D&SNGR’s history from its years as a mining lifeline to a global draw for train-loving tourists.

The bulk of the book is a photo album of the many faces of the train. ... It’s a comprehensive and well-thought-out collection that shows even more than it tells, including a slew of photos that illustrate the at-times superhuman efforts of the train’s employees to keep the locomotives running year-round.

Durango Magazine:

The iconic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad lives its life in all four seasons. Authors Duane A. Smith and Elizabeth A. Green illustrate a typical year in the life of the train in their new book, Seasons of the Narrow Gauge. With well-chose images from several contributing photographers, Seasons is a tribute not just to what passengers see flashing outside their window as they travel the iron rails, but what happens behind the scenes as well, in the roundhouse and the machine shop and the carpentry corner.

Colorado Country Life:

Duane A. Smith and Elizabeth A. Green give readers a peek into the railroad’s past and present through written account and captivating photography. Smith and Green take you through the four seasons at the railroad with behind-the-scenes pictures of workers, locals, tourists and the mighty engine itself. 

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Duane A. Smith




Elizabeth A. Green

Duane A. Smith

Duane Smith received his academic degrees from the University of Colorado and completed his Ph.D. in 1964. That year he began to teach at Fort Lewis College where he is a Professor of Southwest Studies. His areas of research and writing include Colorado history, Civil War history, mining history, urban history and baseball history. He is an extremely popular professor at Fort Lewis, and he is the author of over thirty books on a variety of subjects including Rocky Mountain Mining Camps: The Urban Frontier; A Colorado History; Horace Tabor: His Life and the Legend; Silver Saga: The Story of Caribou Colorado; Colorado Mining: A Photographic History; Fortunes Are for the Few: Letters of a Forty-niner; Rocky Mountain Boom Town: A History of Durango; A Land Alone: Colorado’s Western Slope; Song of the Hammer and Drill: The Colorado San Juans, 1860-1914; Mining America: The Industry and the Environment, 1800-1980; Mesa Verde National Park: Shadows of the Centuries; The Birth of Colorado: A Civil War Perspective; and Sacred Trust: The Birth and Development of Fort Lewis College.

Elizabeth A. Green

Ms. Green divides her time between editing books and writing for books and specialty magazines. She is especially interested in regional history and public lands, and is also co-author of With Picks, Shovels & Hope, the CCC and its Legacy on the Colorado Plateau. For more than a decade, she has volunteered as a docent for public lands, talking with train passengers as they travel between Durango and Silverton. She is past president of the La Plata County Historical Society and serves on the Center of Southwest Studies (Fort Lewis College) advisory board.



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