All aboard for the 2010 V&T train ride season
There will be plenty of opportunities to climb aboard a diesel or steam train this year when the V&T Railroad season opens Memorial Day weekend.
Candy Duncan, executive director of the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, said visitors and locals will thoroughly enjoy the 11⁄2-hour trip up to Virginia City.
“We took a special trip last week with the North American Travel Journalists, and we saw three separate herds of wild horses, and the hills were alive with wildflowers,” Duncan said.
Starting at the depot just above the Carson River Canyon, the train runs along the east side of Mound House and across a railroad bridge that spans Highway 50 East. It then picks up the historic Comstock-era route to Virginia City.
The diesel train runs on Fridays, while Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for the steam train.
The train picks up passengers in Carson City at 10 a.m. all three days. The return trip heads back to Carson City at 4:20 p.m., so travelers have plenty of time to shop or see the sights on the Comstock before boarding for the trip back down the mountain.
Two cars can hold 144 passengers, Duncan said, but if demand increases, an additional car can bring the passenger count up to 210. Last year, all trains were filled the entire season, so those interested are encouraged to buy their tickets early.
Round-trip diesel train fares for adults are $29. Steam train round-trip fares for adults are $48. One-way fares also are available, and special rates apply for seniors 65 and older and for children 12 and younger.
Duncan encourages people to buy their tickets online, where a special locals’ code “neighbor” can be entered for reduced fares.
The railway also extends about two miles from the depot southwest into the Carson River Canyon, Duncan said. That portion isn’t open yet, but there is a possibility that rides could be offered later in the season.
Bob Gray, president of the V&T in Virginia City and Gold Hill, said there has been a lot of excitement this year for the 35-minute one-way rides offered by his group between the two former mining towns.
“You can see diesel all over the world, but there aren’t many places you can ride a steam train,” Gray said.
Duncan said the last regularly scheduled train of the season will run Nevada Day.