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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5615
Jeff -

Thanks for the expanded map (yellow line) of the V&T up into Virginia City and the green line beyond the East Gate station. More in keeping with the way I remember our trip. Also appreciate the photos provided.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:32 pm
Posts: 30
Jeff,
You seem to have a good deal of insight on the subject, so I will throw this out there. I know the museum treats its pieces like the crown jewels and understandably so. That being said, they do have a history of their equipment traveling to other locations. So, do you think there is any possibility of the 25 or even the 22 go to the reconstructed line for a photo charter type thing. I know the 22 is kept at a lower boiler pressure, so its probably not a good candidate. Your thoughts?
Andrew Gillette
Sumter, SC


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:16 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 462
Jeff,

Thanks for this excellent recap of the V&T. If I may ask, what tool did you use to draw the various line segments? Did you do that right in Google Earth?

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:29 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 117
usaf_andrew wrote:
Jeff,
You seem to have a good deal of insight on the subject, so I will throw this out there. I know the museum treats its pieces like the crown jewels and understandably so. That being said, they do have a history of their equipment traveling to other locations. So, do you think there is any possibility of the 25 or even the 22 go to the reconstructed line for a photo charter type thing. I know the 22 is kept at a lower boiler pressure, so its probably not a good candidate. Your thoughts?
Andrew Gillette
Sumter, SC


Biggest issue with any of the legacy V&T Locomotives operating on the "new V&T" is Form 4 inspections. The V&T is an FRA-regulated railroad, and the NSRM is not. Therefore, the museum has not been maintaining Form 4 inspections on the V&T engines. There may be some loopholes in the Part 230 rules for demonstration trains (no riders, etc) but others more familiar with the code would have to comment there. As you state, the 22 would not be a good candidate because of the very low boiler pressure. Also, brakes and couplers would likely be problem areas. I believe the locomotive has air brakes, but not train brakes. It also has link and pin couplers. The 25 has neither of those issues.

Certainly, if such a demonstration could be arranged, I'd be interested in participating in that charter. As noted before, the V&T is a beautiful railroad.

/Kevin Madore


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:14 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1689
Location: Strasburg, PA
Thanks for the maps. I would sure like to have the flange lubricator concession on that railroad.

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"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 102
Location: Elko, NV
Living on the other end of the state from the V&T, I don't always have a pulse on everything going on there. But my overall feeling is there are too many liabilities and risks in taking any of the legacy V&T equipment out of the museum and onto the V&T. You also have to remember that the rebuilt railroad in very steep in addition to the curves, it's an unforgiving property. I won't say it will never happen, but if it was possible or easy to do it probably would have happened by now. It may take an outside party willing to cover all costs to make something like that happen.

As to the map question, yes I made them all in Google Earth, using the "Add Path" tool. I then used the Snipping tool to take screen shots of the maps.

Lastly, one item I wanted to address earlier was the amount of the rebuild using the original V&T grade. The current line deviates from the original V&T grade in three places that I can remember right off hand. The first is through Mound House itself, the following map shows the original V&T routing in purple while the rebuilt V&T is in green:

Attachment:
VTMap_6.JPG
VTMap_6.JPG [ 106.97 KiB | Viewed 1592 times ]


The second is just south of Gold Hill, where an open pit gold mine excavated after the original V&T line had been abandoned obliterated the original grade, including the site of the famous Crown Point trestle. The fill the Commission built across this void consumed 300,000 cubic yards of material. I believe the third minor deviation is at the gravel pit not far above Mound House, the Commission actually had to condemn a right-of-way through that property (at relatively large expense), and there is a minor deviation from the original route through there. Otherwise the reconstruction lies on the original grade.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2310
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Yes, I am going to offer my completely unsolicited and flameworthy comment that maybe I would not have spent the money to rebuild this railroad.

But, as history shows, we have to accept what we can get, and we don't have the power to steer cash to those projects we really think are worthy.

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Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5683
Location: southeastern USA
Experience has proven that we are not the best judges. I'd much rather people who know marketing, tourism and entertainment production make better decisions based on sustainability than emotionally driven people who are rabid about specific bits of history.

That said, we're all winners with this one actually getting built. We may end up losers if it doesn't provide an economically sustainable return, which will turn it into a good reason for funding agencies to choose not to do another in the future.

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Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 474
softwerkslex wrote:
Yes, I am going to offer my completely unsolicited and flameworthy comment that maybe I would not have spent the money to rebuild this railroad.

But, as history shows, we have to accept what we can get, and we don't have the power to steer cash to those projects we really think are worthy.


which part? the part that has already been built? Or the remaining part? And why not?

They are figuring out a way to rebuild a historic right of way and they are operating steam on it... sounds like what we all dream of doing!


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2310
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Because, it looks from the photos like it was really, really expensive, and from the earlier posts, it does not appear to actually be used much. From the satellite photos, it doesn’t look that scenic. It seems to pass by a lot of industry.

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Steven Harrod
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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5615
softwerkslex wrote:
Because, it looks from the photos like it was really, really expensive, and from the earlier posts, it does not appear to actually be used much. From the satellite photos, it doesn’t look that scenic. It seems to pass by a lot of industry.


Steven - It IS scenic, but Nevada scenic, not Colorado. The industries are not obtrusive and are interesting in their own right. There are tunnels, and bypassed tunnels. And a bonus; wild horses! We can't go back to the old V&T, but this comes pretty close.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:07 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 102
Location: Elko, NV
This project has definitely had its share of critics. The last part of the rebuild to happen, from Eastgate depot down towards the canyon, drew perhaps the most criticism because of its status as a project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act- it landed on several lists pushed by mostly conservative politicians and media personalities as one of the wasteful projects ARRA funded. The Commission itself has sometimes gotten in its own way, and actual construction costs ran about three times initial project estimates.

To some of your other points, softwerkslex...serving any industry is not the point of the rebuild, in fact its not even possible to do. This part of the V&T was originally built for two primary purposes, first to haul raw ore from the mines in the Virgina City/Gold Hill/Silver City area down to the many stamp mill that once lined the banks of the Carson River, and then to haul timbers and fuel wood from the Carson City area back up to Virginia City. This part of the V&T was built in 1869, by the early 1870s they had built a line from Carson City north to the connection with the SP in Reno, and then shortly after 1900 they built another line south to the agricultural interests around Minden/Gardnerville. The V&T abandoned the Carson City to Virgina City line in 1938 and the rest of the railroad in 1950. There are no plans to even try connecting the rebuilt railroad with the outside world, and no real point in so doing yet, and because of that serving any industry with freight service is out of the question.

What is driving the rebuild is strictly tourism, which is one of the major economic drivers of western Nevada and the adjoining areas of California. Lake Tahoe is perhaps the biggest draw, but despite being overshadowed by Vegas and Native American-run casinos scattered through California the Reno/Sparks area is still a major gaming area. Virginia City has since the 1950s successfully promoted itself as a living ghost town, one time home to Mark Twain and other celebrities. "Wild West" tourism isn't quite what it was a couple decades ago, but people still flock up to Virginia City, especially on the weekends, to take a mine tour or drink at the Bucket of Blood Saloon or get tintype photos taken of the family dressed as sheriffs and outlaws and prostitutes or watch staged gunfights on the streets or get candied apples and ice cream and sarsaparilla or otherwise just wander up and down the wooden sidewalks and shop at the many stores catering to the tourist trade. The Gray's Virginia & Truckee Railroad started out as (and still is) another Old West attraction, a train ride that can be done inside an hour along with all the other events the town has to offer. The Commission's railroad always has been sold as an alternative and more relaxing way to get to Virginia City than driving the steep and twisting highways up the hill (and thereby reducing the often heavy traffic and parking problems Virginia City experiences every weekend). You still have to get out to the East Gate depot, but once you're there the train takes you up to Virginia City, you have something like five hours to wander around the town, then at the end of the day the train takes you back down to your car. The Commission's railroad has never really pretended to be anything more than that, though they are struggling for a vision now of what else they can do with the railroad now that they have it. And even if the scenery isn't your thing (personally I find it spectacular), it's hard to beat the sound of a steam locomotive working up that grade.

The Commission's railroad was built almost entirely with either grants or government appropriations that don't usually require immediate repayment, at least by the Commission. Whether that was the highest or best use of that money is in all reality a societal decision, but the money has been spent and the railroad is here. Now the real question is if the Commission can either find a way for its railroad to pay for itself, or show its operations have enough of a positive economic benefit throughout the region to warrant the state and involved counties to subsidize operations so that it continues.

Those are my thoughts.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:32 pm
Posts: 30
The form 4 thing was something that I had not thought of, but makes perfect sense.

The last time I was up there was late 2001, before I left for basic training. Steam in both Virginia and Carson Cities. It was a veritable trip to the promised land before leaving for the war. I don't think there was any serious thought with anyone that I had talked to about any reconstruction. When it was announced, I had a believe it when I see it attitude. I am tickled pink at the thought of being able to ride it. I just have to get the family out there to be able to do it. On a different note, I recall reading that part of the reason that they had to run around Mound House was too much had been built on the original ROW. Including IIRC, Dennis Hof's Moonlight Bunny Ranch as seen on HBO.


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:56 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 474
I am only now just learning about the commission, but I know the reason I didn't ride their train is because they only ran certain days in the summer time and that didn't line up with the days I could be there. If they had run a Friday train the weekend I was there (which was July 4 weekend last year) I would have ridden it. If they had run a Saturday evening Canyon train the weekend I was there, I would have ridden it.

I'm not criticizing them, it sounds like they are running as much as they can afford to run, but that's why I couldn't ride with them and I really wanted to. I'm sure I'm not the only one.


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:30 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 117
softwerkslex wrote:
Because, it looks from the photos like it was really, really expensive, and from the earlier posts, it does not appear to actually be used much. From the satellite photos, it doesn’t look that scenic. It seems to pass by a lot of industry.


I would caution against using satellite imagery (such as Google Earth) to evaluate the scenery on a railroad. Satellite photos may be great for planning a bombing mission, but I've found that they often do a poor job of predicting the human reaction to the perspective on the ground. From the air, most of Nevada looks about as appealing as the surface of the moon. But when Astronaut Neil Armstrong actually got "on the ground" there, he found it had "a stark beauty all its own."

Below, you'll find a link to an album of photos that I made on a couple of winter charters at the V&T. Obviously, the winter conditions do a better job of bringing out the beauty of steam, but even the summer shots at this place can be beautiful. The Overman Pit, which some would argue is a huge scar upon the land is also arguably a very spectacular spot for photos.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157644951229416

I'd go back there again in a heartbeat.

/Kevin Madore


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