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 Post subject: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:41 am 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 1:12 am
Posts: 109
I have been researching into the V&T reconstruction to Carson City, but all the news I find is about the extension made 10 years ago. Does anyone know what is planned to get the ball rolling for the next phase of reconstruction or the V&T or its commission in acquiring funds to start the next phase of reconstruction? Ive noticed they have been focused on expanding their rolling stock to accommodate this long term plan, but what has been done on infrastructure to accommodate this since the big track relaying program back in 2008?


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 104
Location: Elko, NV
You have to remember there are two distinct entities associated with the V&T, and you are conflating them.

The privately owned Virginia & Truckee Railroad owns, built, and maintains the track from Virginia City to Gold Hill. The Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T owns, built, and maintains the line from Gold Hill down to the end of track. At present the only piece of equipment the Commission owns is the former McCloud River #18, all other equipment is owed by the Virginia & Truckee. The Commission has various agreements with the Virginia & Truckee to maintain the #18 and operate trains over their railroad. The Commission has a separate contractor doing their track maintenance. The V&T has purchased a lot of equipment in recent years, but that's to support their operations (including running the Commission's trains) and are not associated with any expenditures by the Commission.

The Commission exhausted all of their available construction funding completing the existing line into the East Gate depot site. The part of the line from East Gate down towards the canyon was an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act "shovel ready" project.

I'd encourage you to spend some time on the Commission's website, which is located here:

http://www.vtcommission.com/index.php

The last posted Meeting Minutes are from November 2017, but if you click on the Agenda tab they have draft meeting minutes for the previous month included with the Board Packets. The impression I get skimming through several of these is the Commission generally has its hands full just keeping the existing operation above water. The Commission is by all accounts still losing money on the excursion trains, and they are spending a lot of time in board meetings now discussion at great length marketing ideas and efforts- it appears they have just about reached the "been there done that" saturation point with the local population, meaning they have to expand their horizons and find a way to compete for out of area tourist dollars with other attractions in the area as well as other railroads in the greater area (California and Nevada).

At this point the Commission doesn't have the money to do any expansions to the track, what they have is being committed to the on-going 15-year rebuild of the #18, track maintenance and repairs, and other projects like keeping the parking lot of the East Gate depot intact, installing a new septic tank so that their toilets don't overflow, and the like. My understanding is the current plans are to build a modest extension to the existing line beyond East Gate, heading down to a balloon track located near the river, but that would require the Commission to get the five involved counties or the state to front the money (which none of them have), and you can pretty much forget about any Federal funding for projects like this in the current political environment. At this point the prospects for getting the tracks any closer to Carson City appears to be remote at best, and the Commission has sold the depot site on Drako Road they bought quite some time ago. Somewhat ominously, there was some talk in some of the meeting minutes from last year about trying to get an accelerated payment schedule from the buyer so they would have enough funds on hand to finish the 2017 operating season.

That's the current status as I understand it. Any corrections are welcome.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 531
Very interesting. I didn't realize that the V&T was 2 different organizations.

Is it physically possible to operate anywhere near the Nevada state museum?


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 104
Location: Elko, NV
I'm going to experiment here with something, hopefully this works.

The following map (again, hope this works) shows the current completed track beyond Eastgate Depot in green, and the rest of the original planned rebuild in red. This map does not show the rebuilt line from Eastgate heading towards Virginia City. In 2012 I wrote an article with Joel Jensen about the V&T rebuild for the NRHS Bulletin, at that point in time cost estimates to build what's shown on this map in red- it measures out at about 4.33 miles of track in Google Earth- ran a little shy of $30 million, including yards and shops at the proposed Drako Road terminal. The route lies almost entirely on the original V&T grade except for the last stretch where it would have required a new grade hacked into the hillside to climb out of the canyon to reach the Drako Road terminal. They also would have to figure out how to share the narrow right-of-way along the river with the access road to the big rock quarry. It's also worth noting here the distance on Highway 50 between Drako Road and Flint Road, the turnoff to the Eastgate Depot, measures out at 0.7 miles, a 1 minute drive (or 18 minute walk) according to Google Maps.

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To the question, is is physically possible to operate anywhere near the Nevada State Museum- I assume here since we're on a railroad discussion board you mean the Nevada State Railroad Museum and not the Nevada State Museum, which are two different museums lying about 1.3 miles apart in Carson City- the answer is it's always physically possible if you have the money and political will to condemn and clear all the residential and commercial development out of the way, which is a long way of saying the V&T Rebuild cannot expand any farther west than Drako Road, if it ever makes it that far. As the proverbial crow flies, NSRM lies just under six miles from Eastgate Depot and a little more than 4.5 miles from the Drako Road site. The following map (hopefully here) shows the above railroad route as they spatially relate to NSRM's location:

Attachment:
VTMap_2.JPG
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Hope this helps explain some things and put other things in perspective for those not familiar with the area. I'm editing this to add that I don't remember now seeing an identified location for the discussed balloon track but from what I understand it would not lie very far beyond the end of the green line.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 531
Those maps help a lot. Yes I did mean the railroad museum. Also I had meant was there a right of way still in tact to get to or close to museum, I wasn't clear on that either.

I went to the museum last summer for their 4th of July event. I didn't have a car, I had flown into reno and Ubered down... I debated trying to get to the V&T in Carson City to see them depart, but with so much action at the museum and only 1 day, I decided against it.


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 104
Location: Elko, NV
Glad they help!

Another quick point, NSRM sits a good six tenths of a mile or so west of where the V&T line heading south to Minden once lay, it has been completely obliterated by development. No rail line came closer to where NSRM now sits than that, as the rest of the V&T yards and shops were a little shy of a mile and a half off to the north.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:49 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2490
Location: Northern Illinois
It seems to me that once the original V&T shop site was re-developed (I saw it maybe 45 years ago when the buildings were mostly intact) any reason to try to run into Carson City proper disappeared. It was wishful thinking at that time, and Carson City has grown a bit since then. Some things just aren't meant to happen.

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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:04 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Quote:
It seems to me that once the original V&T shop site was re-developed


I remember reading about the shops demolition decades ago. I can see it was a great success. The satellite shows an empty lot there to-day.


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:07 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Massachusetts
I've walked the site of the former V&T yard and can confirm that at least as of a couple of years ago, it was an open lot. It's my understanding that some site remediation would need to be done in order to develop it at all. I never saw the Old Stone Fort, but I have seen the photographs and when looking over the site, it is easy to imagine it there. If you look closely enough on the ground, there may still be a few artifacts here and there. I'm sort of glad it has not been developed.

As Jeff indicated, it is a VERY long way from the current East Gate Station to either the Stone Fort site or the NSRM. While it would be good for the V&T to be able to reach into Carson City proper, from a patronage standpoint, I think the probability of anything like that ever happening is very remote.

Do get out there and ride the V&T. It is a beautiful railroad. I have done a few photo charters there during the winter months and the place is spectacular.

/Kevin Madore


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 104
Location: Elko, NV
After doing some more research this morning I do have to walk back a bit of what I said yesterday...the V&T line to Minden actually did come right across Highway 395 from the NSRM site. A lot of where the V&T once ran is now city streets or other roads, though the grade also runs through the middle of what are now hospitals, offices, shopping centers, residential housing developments, and the like. It's conceivable a railroad line could be built connecting the V&T reconstruction with NSRM, but at enormous cost given how much infrastructure would have to be moved or otherwise heavily modified to allow for the railroad.

A couple more maps. First off, approximate route of the original V&T between the rebuild and NSRM:

Attachment:
VTMap_3.JPG
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Second map, a closer up of the original route in Carson City. Not all lines are shown, especially the yard and other tracks around the shop. I did draw in the footprint of the Carson City shop building to show its location.

Attachment:
VTMap_4.JPG
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I'd also highly recommend riding the train, it's a good ride. There's also quite a few tributes to the V&T scattered around Carson City, including a Save Mart store off Highway 50 east of the city center that is patterned after the old shop building:

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Also, NDOT has added a lot of metal art exhibits featuring the V&T around the new Interstate 580/Highway 50 interchange.

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Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2336
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks for many interesting maps and photos.

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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: Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2336
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Also, the town is totally wiped clean of the railroad. Just shows how much development occurred in the 60 years since abandonment.

But, it appears E. Washington St. owes its odd kink to the railroad.

But note also the park train in Mills Park. And, wait for it, it appears to occupy a portion of the V&T mainline, or at least adjacent to it.

p.s. W. Carolina St. appears to show the right of way in the property lines extending off of its dead end, which also includes the Nevada Governor's mansion!

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Steven Harrod
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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5683
The wife and I rode the V&T to Virginia City a few years ago. We had 2-8-2 #18 as the power. I agree that it is an extremely interesting ride, and heartily recommend it to anyone. The ride seemed longer than the green line indicated by JDLX. Just how long is the current route?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:45 pm
Posts: 157
The rebuilt route mostly follows the original V&T route, but there are some exceptions. The new construction uses its own mileposts to simplify the situation. Here is a rough timetable based upon the construction specs, old V&T timetables and FRA data.

VIRGINIA & TRUCKEE
EASTGATE TO GOLD HILL

_______ 6.6 EASTGATE DEPOT AND SIDING
_______ 7.2 BRIDGE OVER US-50
_______ 7.7 DIRT ROAD
_______ 7.9 MOUND HOUSE (41.0) - BRANCH EAST TO DAYTON/ROCK POINT
_______ 8.3 LINEHAN ROAD
_______ 9.0 RED ROCK ROAD
_______ 9.3 TANK ROAD
_______ 9.5 MINE ROAD
_______ 9.9 DIRT ROAD
_______ 10.6 SILVER (43.7)
_______ 10.8 INDUSTRIAL PARKWAY
_______ 11.8 DIRT ROAD
_______ 11.8 SIDING WEST SWITCH
_______ 12.0 SIDING EAST SWITCH
_______ 12.1 HAYWARDS (45.2)
_______ 12.9 AMERICAN FLAT TUNNEL - TUNNEL #2 - 566' (45.9)
_______ 13.3 DIRT ROAD
_______ 14.0 DIRT ROAD
_______ 14.1 SIDING WEST SWITCH
_______ 14.3 SIDING EAST SWITCH
_______ 14.3 SCALES (47.4)
_______ 14.5 CEMETERY ROAD
_______ 14.7 JEEP TRAIL
_______ 15.3 BALTIC (48.4)
_______ 15.7 SIDING WEST SWITCH
_______ 15.8 SIDING EAST SWITCH
_______ 16.2 DIRT ROAD
_______ 16.5 CROWN POINT RAVINE
_______ 16.6 DIRT ROAD
_______ 16.7 SIDING WEST SWITCH
GOLD HILL ORE BIN
_______ 16.8 SIDING EAST SWITCH

VIRGINIA & TRUCKEE
GOLD HILL TO VIRGINIA CITY

_______ 49.8 SIDING WEST SWITCH
GOLD HILL ORE BIN
_______ 49.9 SIDING EAST SWITCH
_______ 50.1 GOLD HILL DEPOT - HIGHWAY 342
_______ 50.3 HOMESTEAD/GOLD HILL TUNNEL - TUNNEL #3 - BYPASSED
_______ 50.5 YELLOW JACKET TUNNEL - TUNNEL #4 - 433'
_______ 51.0 UNDER VIRGINIA CITY ROAD - HIGHWAY 341
_______ 51.2 V&T SHOPS LEAD
_______ 51.3 V&T YARDS ROAD
_______ 51.5 COMSTOCK GOLD MILL
_______ 51.6 F STREET
_______ 51.7 VIRGINIA CITY DEPOT AND SIDING

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: V&T reconstruction to Carson City
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 104
Location: Elko, NV
Since the original question was specifically about any further progress on the rebuild, I did not address anything else. To correct that, here's a map of the entire V&T rebuild project.

Attachment:
VTMap_5.JPG
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The yellow line between Virginia City and Gold Hill is the private Virginia & Truckee Railroad, owned by Bob Gray and managed by his son Tom. The green line from Gold Hill down though East Gate Depot/Mound House and beyond is in green, and the red line is the rest of the originally planned Commission rebuild as already discussed.

At present, the Gray's V&T handles all operations. Their railroad offers I think around seven daily 35-minute long round trips from Virginia City down to Gold Hill seven days a week all summer long and weekends in the spring and fall. If steam is available it runs weekends, otherwise diesels power the trips. The Commission's trains start from East Gate and run uphill to Virginia City, over the last ten years their typical pattern has been diesels on Fridays and steam Saturday and Sunday. There is no regular service on the line below East Gate towards the canyon, what does run there tends to be restricted to "Toast of the Canyon" wine and cheese and other similar special runs, usually on select Saturday nights scattered throughout the summer. They will do special chartered trips as well scattered throughout the year. Both railroads run holiday trains, the Commission does the Polar Express thing while the Grays run "Candy Cane Trains" or something like that out of Virginia City. As noted the Commission's sole piece of railroad equipment is the former McCloud River 2-8-2 #18, it's Form 4 expired at the end of the 2015 season and its been undergoing an extensive rebuild since.

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The Grays own two steam locomotives, a former Southern Pacific 0-6-0 that is still "awaiting restoration" and the #29, a Baldwin 2-8-0 with a long history in the lumber industry in the south and Oregon before the Grays bought it in 1977.

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When both steam locomotives are operational the #18 will handle the Commission's trains while the #29 works the Gray's runs on the weekends, the last couple years the #29 has been running the Commission trains while the V&T operates diesels. The V&T has five diesels on the property, a pair of GE 80-tonners, a GE 44-tonner, an Alco S-4, and an EMD SW-1200. Most are painted in the V&T's attractive green and yellow scheme.

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Thanks for looking!

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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