The Nevada State Railroad Museum preserves the railroad heritage of Nevada. Considered one of the finest regional railroad museums in the country, it houses more than 60 pieces of equipment including five steam locomotives and several restored coaches and freight cars. Most featured equipment is from the Comstock Era's Virginia & Truckee Railroad, America's richest and most famous short line. Many were bought from Hollywood studios, where they were made famous in movies and television shows. Among 65 locomotives and cars in the collection, 40 were built before 1900, and 31 operated on the V & T Railroad. The historic train station from Wabuska, Nevada was relocated to the museum grounds in Carson City. The building is still used as a working railroad station where tickets for the museum train rides are purchased.
For train enthusiasts there is a HO model railroad at the museum built entirely by volunteers. This model shows the progression of the railroad from the beginning days to the twentieth century. Besides showing the technology of the railroad industry it also shows the economic impact the railroad has had on the state of Nevada.
The museum features a very special program called 'Your Hand is on the Throttle', not available anywhere else. This is a unique opportunity to learn to operate a historic steam locomotive. Prospective engineers receive hands-on training in the operation of the locomotive and then take the controls for an hour.
The museum offers lectures, an annual history symposium, changing exhibits and the operation of historic railroad equipment, including train and handcar rides, as well as a variety of special events. The museum also has an ongoing research and restoration program. The museum is operated by the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs, and is staffed largely by volunteers from The Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum. For more information, or to volunteer, contact 687-6953.