The 2011 season for the Virginia & Truckee Railroad is highballing down the track towards opening weekend, May 27 – 29 in Carson City (www.visitcarsoncity.com). Before the official opening weekend, the railroad is offering a sneak peek into the historic route with a special event on Mother’s Day, Sun., May 8.
Families hopping aboard the special edition train in celebration of Mom can surprise her with a beautiful rose en route to Virginia City, then enjoy an afternoon of shopping, antiquing or lunch before returning to the depot. Tickets for the May 8 Mother’s Day excursion from Carson City to Virginia City are $29 for adults, $16 for kids under 12 and $26 for seniors over 65.
Season opening festivities slated for Memorial Day weekend, May 27 – 29 showcase steam and diesel engines with round trip and one-way rides from Carson City to Virginia City. After opening weekend, trains run weekly Friday – Sunday through October 30. With the first two seasons’ impressive complete sell-outs, getting “all aboard” now preserves a window to Old West history.
“A ride on the V&T Railroad offers a glimpse back in time to Northern Nevada’s heritage,” said Candace Duncan, executive director at the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s a great value for an all-day activity, with plenty of dining, shopping, lodging and other attractions to explore nearby.”
The V&T Railroad’s 16 miles of track re-opened in August 2009 after 70 years of non-operation. Each 90-minute ride includes scenic vistas of the Carson River and majestic Sierra Nevada, passing through two tunnels, by abandoned mine shafts, old cemeteries and offering occasional sightings of wild mustangs. The historic train travels the same silver route paved by the miners of the infamous 1860s Comstock silver boom.
For tickets, go to www.VisitCarsonCity.com or call 800-NEVADA-1. A variety of ticket options and packages with lodging and dining are also available for riders:
* Round-trip steam trains operate every Saturday and Sunday with tickets $48 per adult, $42 for seniors 65 and better, $28 for children ages 3 to 16.
* One-way steam train rides on Saturdays and Sundays are $29 per adult, $25 for seniors, $18 for children.
* Round-trip tickets on V&T diesel trains operating Fridays are $29 for adults, $26 seniors and $16 for children.
* One-way diesel trains running Fridays are $19 for adults, $18 seniors and $13 for children.
In addition to the V&T’s Carson City-Virginia City Sisters in History 16-mile excursion, a 4-mile, 35-minute Historic Route loop through Virginia City and Gold Hill is offered. The V&T initially re-opened the Historic Route in 1972 under the ownership of the Gray family who have preserved the railway’s heritage. With their help, the reconstruction project between Virginia City and Carson City become a reality for future generations. For Historic Route schedule and ticket prices: www.VirginiaTruckee.com.
Weekend trains feature a 1916 Baldwin consolidation 2-8-0 steam engine leading two 1914 Pullman cars displaying the distinctive yellow and green of the V&T. Private group discounted charters for 20 or more passengers are also available to organizations or businesses. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-NEVADA-1 for details.
The Carson City station at Eastgate Siding on Flint Drive off U.S. Highway 50 East, also has a gift shop with various V&T souvenirs to keep the memories rolling.
For more information on the Sisters in History route between Carson City and Virginia City, www.VisitCarsonCity.com and for details on the Historic Route between Virginia City and Gold Hill, visit www.VirginiaTruckee.com or call 775-847-0380.