The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG) returns with its “Christmas Tree Train” for a third year. Beginning in two weeks, those booking this special trip on the Cascade Canyon steam train from Durango, Colorado, can travel into the San Juan National Forest to cut down a white fir tree for the holiday season.


The “Christmas Tree Train” also helps reduces the risk of wildfires – the taking of small white fir trees growing between the forest canopy and forest floor mitigates fire along that section of the rail corridor. Trees will be culled at the Cascade Wye region of the San Juan National Forest.

One tree (up to 20 feet tall) can be cut by each family, and that tree will then be packed into a special 1913 boxcar for the return trip. The regular travel time for the Cascade Canyon train is two hours each way.

Tree permits can be reserved or purchased the morning of the trip, and hand-saws are provided. Volunteers will be on-hand to assist passengers with the selection and cutting of their holiday tree. The following is a 2016 promo video for the “Christmas Tree Train”:

Dates for the 2017 holiday tree train are November 25th & 26th, and December 2nd, 3rd, 9th & 10th. The Christmas Tree Train departs at 9:45am, with a 2:45pm return. For further information and to book, visit the official site at the link Christmas Tree Train. First opened in 1882, the D&SNG Railroad operates between the south-western Colorado towns of Durango and Silverton, using a narrow gauge (3 ft.) track. The total length of the line runs just over 45 miles.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)



    1. Thanks for the visit and comment, Marie. Yes, it seems to be a very successful and well-received run. It also made me immediately think of how something similar could be done with a special passenger train between Sault Ste. Marie and a point north of there. 😉

    1. Cheers for the visit & comment, Jonathan. I spend a fair bit of time in Colorado each year and the Durango train is on my list!


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