1875 steam locomotive, Glenbrook, to roll again May 23
By 1943, it was saved from scrap and donated by the Bliss Family to the Nevada State Museum, where it pleased countless youngsters who crawled all over it outside the museum’s doors on Carson Street for four decades. Restored by the Nevada State Railroad Museum, it’s under steam again.
It worked Nevada lumber mills in the 19th century, carried tourists to Truckee and Tahoe City in the 20th and graces the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City in the 21st. The 30-year restoration of The Glenbrook, an 1875 narrow-gauge steam locomotive critical to Nevada’s development is revealed Saturday, May 23 with a special opportunity to photograph the jewel alongside its standard-gauge sister, The Inyo.
Special guests important to the Glenbrook’s past will gather at 11 a.m. for a public dedication ceremony at the railroad museum. Both locomotives will be on static display and under steam before the event from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. for rare photo opportunities.
The Glenbrook first came to Nevada in 1875 and worked as a Carson & Tahoe Flume & Lumber Company narrow-gauge steam locomotive that hauled lumber from Lake Tahoe sawmills to Spooner Summit. In 1898, it became the power of the Lake Tahoe Railway & Transportation Company, operating on 15 miles of track between Truckee and Tahoe City.
By 1943, it was saved from scrap and donated by the Bliss Family, which had been involved in both ventures, to the Nevada State Museum, where it pleased countless youngsters who crawled all over it outside the museum’s doors on Carson Street. After 39 years in the courtyard, it was sent for restoration to what’s now the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City in 1982, where the prized piece was painstakingly restored with authenticity and historic accuracy via a generous grant from the E.L. Wiegand Foundation.
“This restoration has been very close to our hearts at the railroad museum.
The Glenbrook is such a rare find. Bringing it back to its full glory to tell a tremendous Nevada story has taken our staff nearly a generation,” said Peter Barton, division administrator of the Nevada Division of Museums and History. “Its restoration will help museums continue to tell the story for many generations to come.”
A genuine memento of the Comstock, the locomotive sports its original riveted steam boiler, fired with wood, and its original paint scheme, hand lettered and striped. For certification, it was tested and steamed in November 2014 for the first time since 1925, just a short distance from where it started.
The Inyo, the museum’s standard-gauge 1875 steam locomotive, normally only operated on Fourth of July, will be fired up alongside The Glenbrook for a rare chance to see two 1875 steam locomotives together at once. Guests will ride in historic cars behind V&T Locomotive No. 25 throughout the holiday weekend.
Admission to the Nevada State Railroad Museum is free for Saturday’s celebration. Train rides are $8 for adults and $4 for children 3-11 or museum members. Visitors can view The Glenbrook whenever the museum is open. The locomotives will also operate on special occasions. Regular admission is $6 for adults; children 17 and younger are free. For more information, contact the museum at 775-687-6953 or visit the museum on Facebook.
The Glenbrook’s full history is featured in the May/June issue of Nevada Magazine. The unveiling event is also part of the Nevada Division of Tourism’s popular “Discover Your Nevada” program that spurs in-state travel during the spring and summer travel months. The annual TravelNevada campaign is designed to educate Nevadans about the variety of adventures available throughout the state and ultimately encourage travel within it.