Aug. 30, 2013 (Carson City, Nev.) — Date night takes a trip back in time Saturdays on the historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad (http://www.vtrailway.com/) “Toast of the Canyon” route. Wine and appetizers are served aboard the round trip historic steam engine excursion through the Carson River Canyon, Sept. 7 and Oct. 5.
Back for a third season, this themed ride winds along panoramic river and canyon views of the same Nevada landscape enjoyed by the silver barons of the 1850’s. The 90-minute ride provides a relaxing, late afternoon experience for train enthusiasts with tight schedules.
Upon departure, wine is poured as the McCloud No. 18 steam locomotive leisurely rolls down the canyon. At the half-way point the train stops along the Carson River as passengers are treated to barbecued appetizers from Red’s Old 395, a favorite Carson City restaurant. It’s show time, as the engine uncouples then slowly chugs by the passenger cars on the siding track to assume the lead position for the ride back. The authentic Iron Horse snapshot of yesteryear provides a memorable photo opportunity. Nearby sightings of wild Nevada mustangs have been prevalent.
The “Toast of the Canyon” trips begin at the Carson City Depot, Eastgate Siding Road at 4:30 p.m. and return at 6 p.m. Ticket are $25 per person.
The V&T also offers the following rides:
— Carson City-Virginia City “Sisters in History” – The 24-mile round trip excursion operates weekends through October from Carson City to Virginia City, providing travelers with Old West history and lore, and dining and shopping. These weekend iron horses feature a 1916 Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0 or a 1914 Baldwin-Built Mikado 2-8-2 steam engine, each leading three 1914 Pullman cars. Round trip tickets are $32-48 per adult, $29-42 for veterans/ seniors (65-plus), and $19-28 for children (ages 3 to 16) and infants are free. One-way tickets are $21-29 per adult, $20-25 for veterans/seniors, and $15-18 for children.
— Virginia City and Gold Hill – The 4-mile, 35-minute historic route loop through Virginia City and Gold Hill, offers daily steam and diesel trains May through October. Tickets are $9-12 for adults, $5 for children or $18-24 for all day passes.
— Discounts for Nevada residents – Receive a 25 percent discount off regular rates on the “Sisters in History” route through Oct. 20. When purchasing round trip tickets online, residents should enter the code NEVADA.
Operating from 1968 to1950, the V&T was Nevada’s Bonanza Railroad as it hauled valuable Comstock ore to quartz reduction mills located at Silver City and along the Carson River. The V&T initially reopened the historic route between Carson City and Virginia City 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 became a reality for future generations. For schedule and ticket prices visit www.virginiatruckee.com or call 775-847-0380.
A stop in Virginia City offers plenty of Old West characters, gunfights, saloons, Victorian ladies and wooden sidewalks. To see a current calendar of events go to www.visitvirginiacitynv.com. The regular season steam train rides continue Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 20.