Railroad and history buffs from all over the country are expected for a three-day symposium starting today in Carson City.
John Ballweber, director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum, said about 150 are expected for the annual event, about half from out of town. He hopes to draw more locals.
"It's an educational program and an opportunity for the museum to present a forum about railroad history, Nevada history and the V&T Railroad," he said. "It's a chance to learn something new."
Tracing the rise and fall of communities prior to 1880, the discussions will revolve around the V&T and its impact on the cities it served, including Franktown, Minden, Gold Hill and Virginia City.
V&T historians Dale Darney, Stephen Drew, Charlie Seibenthal and Gold Hill historian Matt Stanley will join Bob Nylen of the Nevada State Museum and Dan Thielen of the railroad museum.
California State Archivist Walter P. Gray III will make the keynote address at the dinner scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday. Registration, lectures and dinner will be held at the Carson Nugget.
A tour of the McKeen car, a restoration in progress at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, is set for Sunday.
Three optional off-site tours are offered over the three days. The first is to the Thunderbird Lodge at Lake Tahoe. The second is Carson City's annual Ghost Walk, a tour Saturday of local historic homes and neighborhoods. And for the physically fit, museum staff will lead a walk on the Carson & Tahoe Lumber & Fluming Railroad, down the famous switchbacks into Pray Meadow and on to Devil's Gate.
The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
The symposium costs $65 for members of the Friends and $75 for nonmembers. Guests may register for the Saturday dinner only, or for the Friday reception/Saturday dinner. For information, call
the Nevada Railroad Museum, 687-6953.
IF YOU GO
What: Virginia & Truckee Railroad History Symposium
When: Friday through Sunday
Where: Friday and Saturday at the Carson City Nugget and Sunday at the Nevada State Railroad Museum