Sunday's "V&T Lives!" fund-raiser is a western-style dinner and auction for railroad buffs, their families, or anyone interested in supporting the effort to reconstruct the V&T Railroad.
Scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Reno's Tamarack Junction, the event is sponsored by the Northern Nevada Railway Foundation and the auction includes a special collection of memorabilia once belonging to Paul Carrington. An engineer on the original V&T, he made the last run in1950.
"He used to come to my office and I wish I'd written down all of the wonderful stories," said Janice Ayres, president of the Railway Foundation. "He was so enthusiastic that he wanted to donate these artifacts to raise some money for the railroad."
Belt buckles, timetables, railroad prints and the first 50 V&T license plates will go to the highest bidder, Ayres said.
"That will be the only 50 we have control over," she said. "So if some railroad buff wants the No. 1 plate, they'd better be there."
Just part of the effort to fund reconstruction of the V&T Railroad, the license plates can also be obtained through the Department of Motor Vehicles. They cost $61 over the normal fees and of that $25 goes to the commission.
Once the project is completed, the money will be dedicated to maintenance and for those who don't want regular plates, souvenir plates will be available.
"These plates will provide a tremendous source of revenue for reconstruction of the V and T Railroad's historic route from Gold Hill to Carson City," Ayres said.
Built between 1869 and 1872, the V&T Railroad supplied the mines of Virginia City with lumber and transported ore to the mills in the valley in Carson River Canyon. Constructed by private investors, the Virginia & Truckee Railroad became known as the only railroad ever to carry its entire weight of locomotives, track and equipment in silver.
The completion of the V&T ushered in an economic boom of unparalleled proportions and the railroad proved to be a profitable investment for its stockholders, who were rewarded with dividends as high as $100,000 per month. According to projections, history could repeat itself.
The project is expected to inject an additional $40.9 million into the local economy and create more than 1,300 jobs.
"Rebuilding the Virginia and Truckee will not only create a positive and monumental economic impact on Northern Nevada, it will be an invaluable artifact for all of American railroading," Ayres said. "Its rails shaped generations long after it ceased operations and its operative portion enriches and brings back the old West to thousands each year. Let us drive the spikes that will resound for another century. All aboard!"
What: The V&T Lives! fund-raiser
When: 4-8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Tamarack Junction Casino, 13101 S. Virginia St.
Information: Tickets cost $25 per person. For more information, call