Cowboys sing for the V&T Railway reconstruction |

Cowboys sing for the V&T Railway reconstruction

Robyn Moormeister

A cowboy band straight out of the Old West is getting ready to drum up cash for the reconstruction of Nevada’s Virginia & Truckee Railway.

Traditional country band David John and the Comstock Cowboys will perform its “classic cowboy” brand of music Friday night at the Carson Nugget’s Ballroom to raise funds for land purchases necessary for two more phases of the triple-phased railway project.

“It’s the kind of music you hear in the old movies when everyone is sitting in the tumbleweeds around the campfire,” said Carson Nugget director of marketing Kelly Brant. “It’s not boot-scooting country but we’ll have a spot on the floor open for people who want to dance.”

The local acoustic guitar-wielding band has opened for many well-known acts such as Merle Haggard and Juice Newton. It also appeared in the Sony Pictures production of “Mark Twain’s America,” an IMAX movie filmed in Virginia City.

They also play every weekend in Virginia City to a packed crowd in the Bucket of Blood Saloon.

Brant said the band is perfect for evoking the old-time feel of the railway days.

“We’re hoping our to expose people to the band but also to raise awareness of what the Railway Commission is doing,” Brant said.

The club’s railway fund-raiser in April was quite a success, Brant said.

“Over 400 people showed up and everyone had a great time.”

V&T Railway project coordinator Kevin Ray said the April show raised more than $5,000 for the project and he wants to raise even more Friday night.

Land acquisition for the historic railway’s first phase in Storey County is complete and construction may begin in March, said Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko.

In the meantime, the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway needs to continue raising funds for phase II land purchases to extend the rail from Overman Pit to Highway 50.

Land purchases for the first phase, 95 rights-of-way, cost the commission $287,000.

Many landowners donated their land to cut the commission’s costs.

Ray said he has already spoken with a few landowners in the phase II area willing to donate their land, including a couple who live in American Flats.

“He said he would donate on one condition,” Ray said. “He wants a ride on the first train. I told him I didn’t think the commission would have any problem accommodating him.”

Other funding sources have been individual donations, the V&T Railway license plate selection at the Department of Motor Vehicles ($25 per plate) and Ray’s Silver Coin Project which brings in $48 per minted coin.

Ray said the silver coins, imprinted with a steam engine, will be for sale at the show Friday.

David John and the Comstock Cowboys will play at 8 p.m. Friday in the Carson Nugget Ballroom.

Tickets for the event sponsored by the Nugget and the Nevada Appeal are $15 General Admission and $10 for Prospector’s Club members and are available at the Prospector’s Club booth.

For information about the fund-raiser, call the Carson Nugget at 882-1626.

Contact reporter Robyn Moormeister at rmoormeister or 881-1217.


What: V & T Railroad fund-raiser

Featuring: David John and the Comstock Cowboys

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Carson Nugget’s Prospector’s Club, 507 N. Carson St.