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USA Today ranks Durango & Silverton train No. 1 in country

Narrow gauge best scenic train in top 10 list
USA Today ranks the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad as the best scenic train in the country. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad got a boost this week: USA Today 10Best ranked it as the best scenic train in the country.

This is the second consecutive year the narrow gauge railroad has rolled onto the top 10 list for scenic trains around the country. The Durango-Silverton train needed votes from fans and the USA Today panel of experts to gain the top slot.

USA Today highlighted the historic railroad’s time spent hauling silver and gold along track laid during the late 19th century.

“Today, visitors hop aboard for the seven-hour round-trip journey from Durango through some of Colorado’s most impressive scenery with a chance to stop and explore the historic mining town,” the article said.

Fans can vote once per day over several weeks to get their train on the list. This year, directors of two outdoors groups, Outdoor Afro and the Outdoor Writers Association of America, joined the USA Today 10Best staff members to release the top selections.

In 2020, the Durango-Silverton train came in fifth. A nearby competitor has also consistently ranked in the top 10. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, a 64-mile ride from Chama, New Mexico, to Antonito, Colorado, ranked second in 2021 and first in 2020.

The top 10 list features some frequent flyers: nine of the 10 winners in 2021 also ranked in the top 10 in 2020. Those include railroads based in Pikes Peak, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Delaware and California.


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