MOUND HOUSE " V&T Railway track reached Carson City on Thursday as railroad work started on the bridge crossing Highway 50 East near Lyon County.
About 7.5 miles of the 18-mile tourist railroad from Virginia City to Carson City will be finished when track work on the bridge is done in about a month, said Gary Luce, a project engineer. Workers installed the V&T bridge about a month ago.
About half the railroad will be done around June, he said. The commission will bid about another mile of railroad work after that with $2 million to $3 million in federal stimulus funds. This will bring the railroad to the Carson River Canyon.
Luce said chances are "minimal" for summer train rides.
The V&T commission and the V&T Railroad Company had discussed a draft agreement this year to let the company run summer rides on the completed track.
The Virginia City-based private company runs 2.5-mile train rides from Virginia City to Gold Hill.
Commission Chairman Bob Hadfield said he wants to keep working on negotiations with the Gray family, who run the V&T Railroad Company.
"It continues to be a difficult to come to a win-win situation for everyone, but we haven't given up," he said.
The Grays could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Commissioner John Tyson said the commission should use an engine it owns to start rides on the new track.
The commission would have to buy railroad cars, but it would be worth it to showcase the historic remodel, he said.
Tyson said he'll push for the plan at the commission next meeting May 4.
The project that started construction in 2005 is expected to cost at least $55 million and be done around 2012.