May 18, 2012 (Carson City, Nev.) – The Virginia & Truckee Railroad (http://www.visitcarsoncity.com/) launches its 2012 summer season with round trip trains between Carson City and Virginia City this Memorial Day Weekend. The real deal and real feel of a clickety-clack, gentle-gallop departs from today and goes back in time to robber barons, miners, dance halls and saloon girls.
Steam and diesel engines will ply the same 16-mile route made famous by the Comstock silver boom of the 1860s. The season runs through October 21 with weekend excursions – Friday on diesel and Saturday and Sunday via steam on roundtrip and one-way rides from Carson City to Virginia City, or the “Sisters in History” route.
In conjunction with opening weekend, RailFest – a series of events to celebrate the area’s love affair with trains, will be held in Virginia City, May 26-27. Activities include a Memorial Day Parade in Virginia City, an exclusive all-day Made in Nevada Market at the Gold Hill Hotel, stagecoach rides, gunfights and theater.
The Railroad Museum in Carson City will be open with extended hours, Saturday – Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering train-fanatics rides on the Historic Virginia and Truckee No. 25 steam locomotive from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Outdoor exhibits and displays will be available and include the 1910 McKeen Motorcar and the French National Merci boxcar.
“Advance reservations are at their highest in four years,” said Candace Duncan, executive director at the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The V&T is a major attraction that brings visitors to shops, restaurants and museums as well as helps drive overnight stays.”
The V&T Railroad’s 16 miles of track re-opened in August 2009 after 70 years of non-operation. Each 90-minute ride provides a glimpse back in time to the area’s rich history. It offers the same scenic vistas of the Carson River and majestic Sierra Nevada with an adventure through two tunnels, along abandoned mine shafts and old cemeteries, highlighted with occasional sightings of wild mustangs.
The V&T, the richest short line in history, travels the same silver route paved by the miners of the infamous 1860s Comstock. It put the area on the map as an adventuresome, hell-raising city of the first order, where rough and tumble and high culture co-existed.
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 at $48 per adult, $42 for veterans and seniors 65-plus, $28 for children ages 3 to 16.
— One-way steam train rides on Saturdays and Sundays are $29 per adult, $25 for veterans and seniors, $18 for children.
—V&T diesel trains begin June 1 and operate every Friday with round-trip tickets at $32 for adults, $29 veteran and seniors and $19 for children.
— One-way diesel trains running Fridays are $21 for adults, $20 veterans and seniors and $15 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 steam 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.
The 2012 season will include a variety of special trains for more information visit www.visitcarsoncity.com or call 1-800-NEVADA-1
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 (775) 847-0380.