As an adjacent landowner, I received notice that the train is planning on opening a “Dinosaur Amusement Park” on property it owns in the valley. The plan is to run the train two to four times a day on weekends. The definition of a weekend the train is using is Friday through Sunday. That’s 42.85 percent of a week. That’s between six to 12 trips a weekend, in addition to the normal four trips a day to Silverton. The “Dino Train” would run four months every summer. That’s between 108 to 216 trips a season. There are also Halloween and Christmas trains that run well before and after those seasons along with regularly scheduled train trips. That’s a lot of trips. That’s a lot of trains. That’s a lot of pollution.
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been running a historic railway line for more than 100 years. Durango is known worldwide for its historic town and railroad. A “Dinosaur Park” is inappropriate in the Animas Valley. We might as well take this section off the San Juan Skyway map. There will be bouncy houses, slides, green monsters, pictures with dinosaurs, dinosaur footprints, a tattoo parlor and an excavation area for treasure hunting and digs. What a scenic site on the Skyway: an amusement park, right square in the Animas Valley.
What about putting the Dino Park on the train property in town, where visitors can explore the railroad museum, depot and gift shop? They can dine in town, visit shops and explore other historic sites and museums along Main Avenue. All of the merchants will benefit. How about taking the children on a real train ride to historic Silverton?
A Dinosaur Park in the Animas Valley increases air and noise pollution, commercializes and lowers property values along the railway line and in town. If this concerns you, write your comments to: La Plata Planning Department, 1060 East Second Ave., Durango, CO 81301 or call 382-6263 to get on the Dino Train public comment meeting list. You may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org