Regarding the recent letter to The Durango Herald, I would like to offer my opinion of our local railroad.
The 416 Fire was a disaster, no objective person would deny that. That said, the court system is addressing the responsibility for the fire. The court will decide ultimate responsibility. There should be no short cuts in the process.
As far as the railroad goes, since the 416 Fire, I have observed nothing but the best intentions from the railroad. They immediately started to mitigate fire hazards along their right of way. They chose to start the conversions of coal-fired locomotives to oil burners. They purchased diesel locomotives to further reduce the possibility of fire. They changed the schedules of the daily trips to better suit an improved business model actually, reducing the number of daily trips from Durango.
The train whistle to me is the sound of a strong economic driver to our local economy. I’m happy to see them moving forward with many positive changes.