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Photo book and program about the V & T Railroad

Ride to Virginia City behind a steam locomotive on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.
Ride to Virginia City behind a steam locomotive on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.
Photo © Stan White

The Virginia & Truckee Railroad played a significant role in the history of northern Nevada. The shortline railroad was the key to hauling ore and supplies during the Comstock era in Virginia City and it provided passenger and freight transportation from Douglas County in the south to Reno in the north. As they always do, times changed and the V & T Railroad was unable to continue profitable operations. The last run was in May of 1950.

That may have been the end were it not for a dedicated bunch of railroad buffs. To make a long story short, the V & T Railroad is running again, this time as a tourist excursion line and it has proven to be quite popular. Much of the original route between Virginia City and Carson City has been restored and passengers can get a real feel for what it was like to ride behind a steam locomotive during the heady years when miners pulled millions out of the Comstock Lode.

We can't really relive the original era, but we can see what it was like through historic photographs. The latest effort will be a new book titled "Nevada's Virginia & Truckee Railroad" by Stephen Drew. His book will join other Arcadia Publishing historic photo books covering northern Nevada and California - Reno, Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Virginia City, Truckee.

You can hear Drew speak in Reno on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, with the Historic Reno Preservation Society. Drew will present an illustrated look at this V & T Railroad, its people, operations, facilities, and legacy in Reno. He has been researching the V & T Railroad for more than 45 years. He has been a railroad consultant to the State of Nevada since 1974 and recently retired after 35 years as Chief Curator of the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. The program is free and starts at 7 p.m. It will be at the Laxalt Auditorium in the Warren Nelson Building, 401 W. Second Street in Reno.