Trains - Train Attractions
Nevada Train Attractions
Considering how the railroads maintained such a large presence in Nevada for more than 150 years, it’s not surprising to find remnants — locomotives, cabooses, train stations and former workers’ homes — in towns across the state.
At the corner of Victorian Avenue and Pyramid Way in Sparks, you can admire Southern Pacific’s 1907 steam locomotive No. 8, a caboose and a refurbished 1911 Pullman executive car named The City of Sparks sitting alongside a platform. Another caboose stands nearby. During the Sparks Hometowne Farmer’s Market, visitors can take a tour of the Pullman car. The tour is led by a Sparks Heritage Museum volunteer, a retired railroad conductor who proudly wears his uniform and cap.
Across the street from the locomotive, the Sparks Heritage Museum displays numerous railroad-era artifacts, including a large photo of the Sparks roundhouse (circa 1915), where steam locomotives were serviced. Wadsworth, the Central Pacific’s diversion point, was moved lock, stock and barrel, including workers’ houses, on flatcars to Sparks in 1904. The town was nicknamed Rail City and the railroad employed hundreds of people during much of the 20th century. In the streets behind the museum you can see many of the workers’ houses occupied by present-day Sparks residents.
Virginia City is famously known for the Virginia & Truckee (V&T) Railway, a narrow-gauge train that hauled ore from the mines, as well as passengers, to Carson City and Reno. At the Comstock History Center, the home of the Comstock Historic District Commission and a reference library, visitors can see the restored V&T’s 1873 engine No. 18. Also known as the Dayton, the steam engine is housed in a structure resembling a section of roundhouse with sunlight streaming in through large windows.
Historical photos of the Comstock Lode era (1859-1890) show what the silver mining town of Virginia City was like during its heyday. An exhibit of railroad photography and artifacts from the collection of Lucius Beebe and Charles Gregg, former proprietors of the Territorial Enterprise (1952-1966), are exhibited.
Elko’s Greenbelt Park, also known as the Elko Railroad Park, is a quarter-acre of grass surrounding a Western Pacific diesel locomotive and a caboose. Music festivals, storytelling and railroad-related activities take place in the summer at the park, located where the Central Pacific Railroad’s tracks once ran through the business district.
Elko was founded by the Central Pacific in 1868, and its name was reportedly chosen by Charles Crocker, a railroad official, who added an “o” to “elk” to create the town’s name. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a picnic lunch at the park, which can be reserved for groups.