ELY — Fascination with colorful and rugged Wild West brings visitors from near and far to the well-preserved Nevada Northern Railway located in the heart of Nevada. This National Historic Landmark provides a bona fide window into the days when train travel and steam engines ruled the west. The railroad’s excursion season kicks off at 1 p.m. on April 9.
Rides on the authentic steam and diesel trains are scheduled every weekend through the fall, and daily during June through September. The April 9 kickoff also includes lodging options, where guests can stay the night either in the historic caboose or in the railroad bunkhouse.
New this year, as a spinoff to the popular Be the Engineer experience, guests can “be the engineer of a small locomotive” for a smaller price. The cost is just $55 for members and $95 for non-members (memberships are just $30). Also new, Nevada Northern Railway is offering a mini photo shoot opportunity, called the Mixed Photo Freight Experience. Inspired by the Winter Spectacular photo shoots that takes place in February, the mini photo shoots will be offered on select weekends throughout the summer. The cost is just $39 for adults and $20 for kids.
Regular rides include caboose and engine rides, the steam excursion train (a 90-minute train ride in a restored passenger car pulled by a century-old steam locomotive on an out-and-back run toward Ruth Mine), as well as the opportunity to ride with the engineer. Diesel train excursions and reenactment train robbery rides also happen on certain weekends.
Tours of this National Historic Landmark are included with the purchase of a train ticket, but guests don’t have to buy a train excursion to tour the Railway. Guests can choose between a self- guided tour or a guided tour.
The Wild West Limited, May 21, is a train ride to Keystone Gulch where there have been reports of desperados in the area. On Memorial Day Weekend there is the Star Train where guests can view the wonders of the galaxy with the expert Dark Rangers from Great Basin National Park, May 27; and on Saturday May 28, the Rockin’ and Rollin’ geology-themed train heads out at 4:30 p.m.
The 2016 season has something for everyone. For more information and a complete schedule, go to www.nnry.com.