We would have preferred to take the train to Silverton on the scenic side of the open car, and return by bus; that's an option that's available, but you have to book it ahead of time in order to get it. We bought our tickets the day before our ride, so we took what we could get.
We arrived at the depot before 8 AM, went through the museum, and boarded our train at 9:15. It was 7 PM when we got back into the station that evening. We sat between a couple from the Dallas, Texas area, and one from Salt Lake City, Utah... all of them friendly folks.
This was the evening we had planned to camp, but ended up going back to the motel we'd left that morning because we were so worn out.