A Brief History of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad
The Virginia & Truckee Railroad - V&T - was built to haul gold and silver ore from Virginia City's Comstock mines to the Carson City mills for processing. The original 21 miles was completed in 1870. Over the years, rails were extended south to Minden and north to Reno. After nearly 80 years of hauling ore, supplies, and passengers, the "Queen of the Short Lines" ceased operations in 1950, a victim of paved highways and automobiles. The Virginia & Truckee R.R. site has a detailed history of the line.
The resurrection of the V&T as a tourism railroad is being carried out by the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway (NCRVTR). The current restoration project started in 1992 and is following, as closely as possible, the original V&T route between Virginia City and Carson City. By 2008, tracks had reached Mound House, a few miles east of Carson City on U.S. 50. If things go as planned, the train will steam all the way into Carson City in 2012.
V&T Train Schedule
Round Trip - Trains run the route on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from late May through the end of October. Friday trips are powered by a diesel locomotive. Trains on Saturday and Sunday are pulled by the McCloud #18, a restored Baldwin steam locomotive that saw service on the original V&T Railroad. All round trips leave from Carson City (Mound House) at 10 a.m. and depart Virginia City for the return at 3 p.m.
One Way - Friday one way trips are diesel powered. The first run departs Virginia City at 8 a.m. and arrives in Carson City at 9:20 a.m. The afternoon run departs the Carson City depot at 5 p.m. and gets to Virginia City at 6:30 p.m. One way trips under steam power run on Saturdays and Sundays, with the same time schedule as the diesel trains.
For more information, you can get a V&T Brochure and Schedule emailed to you from the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Tickets for the V&T
Riding the V&T Railroad has proven to be very popular - buying tickets in advance is highly recommended or you could be left at the station while the train chugs up the tracks. You can buy tickets online for both round trip and one way excursions. The ticketing site also has details on when the trains are running, along with information about special trains on the 4th of July and Labor Day.
Steam Round Trip
- Adult (age 17 - 64) - $48
- Senior (65+) and Veterans - $42
- Child (age 3 - 16) - $28
Steam One Way
- Adult (age 17 - 64) - $29
- Senior (65+) and Veterans - $25
- Child (age 3 - 16) - $18
Diesel Round Trip
- Adult (age 17 - 64) - $29
- Senior (65+) and Veterans - $26
- Child (age 3 - 16) - $16
Diesel One Way
- Adult (age 17 - 64) - $19
- Senior (65+) and Veterans - $18
- Child (age 3 - 16) - $13
Toddlers who sit on an adult's lap ride for free.
Carson City - A few miles east of downtown Carson City on U.S. 50 at 4650 Eastgate Siding Road. There is a small sign for the right turn to the parking area and temporary depot building. (775) 687-7410.
Virginia City - Downhill from downtown Virginia City at 370 F Street, corner Washington Street. (775) 847-0380.