People with a railroad buff on their Christmas list should check out the silent auction at the Plaza Hotel in Carson City from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Railroad belt buckles, books, timetables and limited-edition prints are just a few of the items up for bid at the event hosted by the Northern Nevada Railway Foundation.
Admission is free, courtesy of a number of sponsors, including the Atlantis Casino Resort, International Games Technology and Western Nevada Supply Co. All are sponsors of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad reconstruction and the money earned at this auction will go toward the effort.
The fare includes champagne and hors d'oeuvres.
Built between 1869 and 1872, the historic line will extend 17 miles from Virginia City to East Carson City. Construction hasn't started, but much of the groundwork has been laid.
An environmental impact statement, compiled by the Nevada Department of Transportation, is almost complete. Construction of a rail bed across the Overman Pit has been engineered. Construction on that segment is expected to start in 2003.
Completion of the project should take about two years, organizers say. Economic impact statements project $40.9 million will be pumped into the local economy from the construction project alone. Once the train is operating, the annual economic benefit for the region is estimated at $16.5 million.
The V&T; Railroad supplied the mines of Virginia City with lumber and transported ore to the mills in the Carson River Canyon. Financed by private investors, the V&T; was the only railroad known to have carried its entire weight of locomotives, track and equipment in silver.
Completion of the V&T; ushered in an economic boom of unparalleled proportions. It was a profitable investment for its stockholders, who were rewarded with dividends as high as $100,000 per month.
IF YOU GO
What: Silent auction of railroad collectibles to raise funds for the V&T; Railroad project
When: 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday
Where: Plaza Hotel, 801 S. Carson St.