SILVERTON, Colo. (AP) – A Colorado tourist railroad has commenced service, bringing hope to businesses that have been isolated by weather events. The Durango Herald reports that the first Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad engine of 2019 arrived Saturday in Silverton, depositing dozens of tourists in the mountain town.

(credit: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train)

Business owners in the community 324 miles southwest of Denver have suffered the economic consequences of winter avalanches that closed access along U.S. Route 550 for weeks.

(credit: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train)

That followed a month-and-a-half of train cancellations caused by the 416 Fire, a wildfire that burned 54,000 acres north of Durango beginning in June 2018. Hundreds of people were evacuated.

Smoke from the 416 Fire on June 12, 2018 near Durango (credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The fire caused tens of thousands of train reservation cancellations, with at least one Silverton business owner reporting sales were down 70%.

Wildfire Resources

– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Colorado Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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