by John Hollenhorst
Would you be willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an hour or two of fun?
Well, if your idea of fun is to drive a train — yes, a full-size, real-life locomotive with you as the engineer out on the open rails — there’s a deal waiting for you just across the Nevada state line. On a recent sunny morning in Ely a train nut took a joyride and it cost just under $1,000.
“I love it, hah, hah!” exclaimed Max Batzer as he sat in the engineer’s seat and throttled up an enormous, century-old, steam locomotive. He’s more accustomed to sitting in the back seat of a taxi or sitting behind a desk in Manhattan.
Our Nevada Railroad Video Gallery
In its heyday Virginia City’s V&T Railroad was called “the crookedest railroad in the world.” Today it’s one of the funnest.
In 1972, Robert C. Gray — a passenger on the last train to Virginia City in 1938 — began rebuilding the V&T. Today the railroad operates a regular May through October schedule from Virginia City to Gold Hill and Carson City with special trains throughout the year.
The Nevada Southern Railway runs every weekend on tracks installed to help build Hoover Dam in 1931.
Ride in an open air car or air conditioned/ heated Pullman coaches. StoryTime trains are the third Saturday of each month.
One of many enthusiastic Facebook comments: “It’s such a great family friendly time. The volunteers are so friendly and so willing to share information. We always have fun.”
The Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City is a collection of splendid 19th century machines made of cast-iron and steel that opened the West.
They’re not just to look at. Here is our train ride schedule on iconic trains of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of them have been retrieved from owners who acquired them after the railroads themselves were abandoned.
The Virginia & Truckee Railroad makes round trips from Carson City – Virginia City from May through October plus special trains like Polar Express and Toast of the Canyon Wine Train.
A recent review: We saw many old mines and wild horses on our journey. Virginia City was great. Even if you’re not a train buff this is a great day out.
Time stopped at the Nevada Northern Railway, as if the workers went to lunch and never came back.
This is touchable history, more than 70 buildings and structures on 56 acres. It’s a working steam railroad. It surrounds you. It’s gritty. It’s dirty. It smells of coal smoke, creosote and sweat. It is the real deal.
For more details visit www.nnry.com or give us a call (775) 289-0103. ALL ABOARD!
On Friday morning April 27 in Boulder City the Nevada State Railroad Museum, home of the Nevada Southern Railway woke up early.
The little depot on Yucca Street was bustling — not with choo-choos but with railbikes. These are industrial grade quadricycles-built-for-two that run on railroad tracks when pedaled, and they can be joined together so that whole groups can travel as one, all pedaling . . . gently at first, and then going like mad. Great fun!
Their adventure takes them west on track originally laid in 1931 to connect the UPRR from Las Vegas to Black Canyon and the Boulder Dam construction site, ending just northwest of the Railroad Pass Hotel/Casino at the US 93/95 Freeway.