The Nevada State Railroad Museum will re-open on Saturday with free weekend admission for all.
The museum was shut down Jan. 8 after floodwaters running down Voltaire Canyon and along Curry Street inundated the property. Tracks, fire roads and buildings all suffered damage including several inches of water in the shops where museum experts restore historic locomotives and passenger cars.
Museum Director Dan Thielen said they wanted to re-open sooner but there was a lot of work to do.
“We are very excited for this weekend and to be open for visitors again and, as our gift for the support the community has shown, we welcome everyone at no cost,” he said.
The Jacobsen Interpretive Center will re-open at 9 a.m. Saturday. It will be open again Sunday form 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thielen said work continues on the other buildings at the museum but the interpretive center contains the museum’s best known rolling stock including the 1875 locomotives the Glenbrook and the Inyo. Also in the center are educational displays and the museum store.
Professional cleaning crews have managed to get the interpretive center cleaned up. But while work on the tracks and yard continues, Thielen said it will take quite a while longer to put everything back in shape and the tracks in working order.
Museum officials said they hope to have the tracks and trains again operating on the property by May.
City crews diverted the floodwaters coming down the canyon along Rhodes Drive onto Curry Street to try to prevent flooding that could close Carson Street. But that diverted the water right onto the museum’s property, seriously damaging tracks and other buildings. It dug a channel more than two feet deep across the entrance to the storage yard and four feet deep along one section of track, completely undermining them. Three weeks after the Jan. 9 flooding there was still standing water in the shop and storage buildings.
“There was nothing on our property that could hold this back,” Thielen said after the flood waters receded.
Before the state’s flood insurance kicks in, Museums Director Peter Barton said they have to record $500,000 in damages to meet the deductible. He said that wouldn’t be much of a problem since the total to not only fix the flood damage but make improvements to ensure it never happens again are estimated at about $1.6 million.
For information and an operating schedule, find the museum on Facebook at Facebook.com/nsrmcc.