Virginia & Truckee Railroad opens season with two sold-out trains | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Virginia & Truckee Railroad opens season with two sold-out trains

Brian Duggan / Tribune News ServiceThe McKeen Motor Car, No. 22, was delivered to the Virginia & Truckee Railroad on May 9, 1910. Exactly 100 years later, a fully restored McKeen Motor Car was dedicated on May 9.

The Virginia & Truckee Railroad opened its 2010 season with completely booked train rides over Memorial Day weekend. After a sold-out season in 2009, the V&T has expanded operations to Friday through Sunday rides through Oct. 31. The round trip and one-way rides run between Carson City and Virginia City.

The strong beginning to the V&T’s summer operations has tourism officials hopeful the trend sticks.

“With the V&T’s popularity last year, we decided to expand the 2010 season,” said Candy Duncan, executive director of the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Adding two additional months to the program and also giving visitors an option to ride the train on Fridays means we have a higher volume of seats to fill.

“That’s why we’ve made it easier for folks to purchase tickets and get information about the trains so they can experience our ‘newest-oldest’ attraction,” she added.

The V&T Railroad’s newly restored 16 miles of track re-opened last August after 70 years of non-operation. Each 75-minute ride includes scenic vistas of the snow capped Sierra Nevada, passing through tunnels, by abandoned mine shafts, old cemeteries and offering occasional sightings of wild mustangs. The V&T travels the same silver path paved by the excesses of the Virginia City mines of the infamous 1860s Comstock silver boom.

Round-trip steam trains operate every Saturday and Sunday with tickets $48 per adult, $40 for seniors 65 and over, $30 for children 12 and under.

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One-way steam train rides on Saturdays and Sundays are $29 per adult, $25 for senior, $20 for children.

Round-trip tickets on V&T diesel trains operating Fridays are $29 for adults, $25 seniors and $20 for children.

One-way diesel trains running Fridays are $17, $15 seniors and $12 for children.

Tickets are available online at http://www.visitcarsoncity.com or by calling 800-NEVADA-1.

A variety of ticket packages with lodging are also available for riders. The Bliss Bungalow offers a 10 percent discount to guests who present their V&T ticket; call (775) 883-6129 for more information. The Holiday Inn Express in Carson City and nearby Minden feature a $99 room and free breakfast for passengers; call (775) 283-4055 for details.

In addition to the V&T’s Carson City-Virginia City 16-mile excursion, known as the “Sisters in History” route, the V&T also offers its popular four-mile, 35-minute loop through Virginia City and Gold Hill, or the “Historic Route.” Here, the V&T has run since 1972 under the ownership of the Gray family who have preserved the railway’s heritage. For “Historic Route” schedule and ticket prices, visit http://www.VirginiaTruckee.com.

The Saturday round-trip train features a 1916 Baldwin consolidation 2-8-0 steam engine pulling two 1914 Pullman cars displaying the distinctive yellow and green of the V&T. Private group discounted charters for 20 or more passengers are also available to organizations or businesses. E-mail cccvb@visitcarsoncity.com or call 1-800-NEVADA-1 for details.

The Carson City station at Eastgate Siding on Flint Drive off U.S. Highway 50 East also has a gift shop with various V&T souvenirs.

For more information on the “Sisters in History” route between Carson City and Virginia City, http://www.visitcarsoncity.com. For details on the “Historic Route” between Virginia City and Gold Hill, visit http://www.virginiatruckee.com.

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