On the 25th June, I visited the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, that runs from Carson City to the famous Virginia City. The depot as can be seen in the picture below, is in the middle of nowhere, right on the outskirts of Carson City. Despite this, the car park was full of people and every seat on the train was occupied. As the locomotive ran around its’ train, I soon boarded the carriage and started my journey to Virginia City. I have been on the railroad before, many years ago, but this was the first time that I had got a full line tour of the railroad and boarded in Virginia City.
As we were traveling along the line, twisting through the Nevada desert and mountains, our train stopped outside Gold Hill depot, which is a very close to our final destination. We were waiting for nearly an hour, due to a brake failure to the locomotive. However, after a truck with some engineers arrived, we were soon on our way to the world famous Virginia City.
When the train arrived in Virginia City, the excursion train that I took last time I visited was just about to leave, after it had been delayed due to the issues with the steam locomotive. Virginia City was an old mining town, which is why the railroad operated from here. At the height on the mining boom, there was a population of 25,000. This has dropped to 800, and is now a tourist destination.
We were given a couple of hours in the town, and it is effectively one street, with old shops, restaurants and hotels lining either side of the road. If there was not a tarmac road, it would feel at home in any Western movie, which is why many films referenced this world famous town, one of the many hubs of the mining industry.
Effectively, Virginia City has not changed much since the end of the mining industry, but it is now just as profitable as it was back in the late 1800s. There are many unique restaurants and shops, each selling a piece of small town America. Being a tourist town, there are tours around the city, which I did not experience, due to only having a few hours in Virginia City. One of note though is a tour through the tunnels under the city, which was where some of the mining took place.
On other thing of note is that, despite the town being really small, there are two schools, which are in the original locations, and the church is the original design of when the town was first founded. It really is a massive landmark for the town, and the cross at the top of the church can be seen when entering on the train.
After exploring Virginia City, the train left the depot on its uneventful journey. After arriving, the train was departing for the wine evening event. Overall, I had a fantastic day, and all of the staff were helpful, especially when the locomotive was being repaired before continuing its’ journey. Above is my video from my day.
Thanks for reading.