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wealthy by the Comstock Lode itself or the businesses that supported it. Construction on the original 16.7mile railroad from Carson City to Virginia City began in 1869, the same year the First Transcontinental Railroad was commotorcoach operators to contact them. pleted. This section For more information, contact: closed in 1938, but part of the V&T Virginia & Truckee Railroad limped along until P.O. Box 467, Virginia City, NV 89440 1950, with final clo775-847-0380 sure of the line to http://www.virginiatruckee.com/ Reno. Today, happily, the Virginia & Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority Truckee has 86 South C Street, Virginia City, NV 89440 returned to life. Led No. 29 blasts out of Tunnel No. 800-718-7587 by a cadre of people 2, a 566-ft bore opened in 1869 http://www.visitvirginiacitynv.com/ with shared interand restored in 2008. ests, the privately Nevada State Railroad Museum operated V&T 2180 S. Carson St. (US 395 at Fairview) began to rebuild in the mid-1970s. Carson City, NV 89701 The restored railway operates from May through 775-687-6953 October, offering short diesel-hauled rides from Virginia http://museums.nevadaculture.org/index.php?option= City to Gold Hill on a daily basis, and longer weekend com_content&view=article&id=412&Itemid=123 trips with steam to the state capital, Carson City. No. 29, a Baldwin 2-8-0 built in 1916, does the honors. About the author: Dr. Kirchner is professor emeritus Likewise, Virginia City itself has become a national of geography and transportation at Cal State University shrine to mining history, reclaiming its glory days, and Los Angeles. attracting large numbers of visitors. Said to have been at one time the richest small town in America, the federally Walter C. Gray, the man largely responsible for the rebirth of the V&T designated National Historic District stands beside old No. 29 in Virginia now lays claim to a history filled with City. The engine is named in his honor. the legends of the American West, from author Mark Twain to fabled entrepreneurs William Ralston, Darius Mills, Charles Crocker, and Adolph Sutro, among many others. Virginia City, in fact, supposedly once had more millionaires than any other town in the U.S. Carson City also has the excellent Nevada State Railroad Museum, a wonderful place to see restored V&T equipment and learn more about the past history of the V&T. Both the Virginia & Truckee and the Nevada State Railroad Museum offer group rates, and encourage tour and Byways • 15

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Riding the Rails  

Visiting leading tourist railroads in North America.

Riding the Rails  

Visiting leading tourist railroads in North America.

Profile for byways