McKeen car added to National Register of Historic Places |

McKeen car added to National Register of Historic Places

Staff report

Nevada State Museum photo The Virginia & Truckee No. 22, McKeen Motor Car No. 70 on its first run at Minden on June 2, 1910.

The McKeen Motor Car No. 70 in Carson City has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

“The engineering and design of the McKeen Car No. 70 can be regarded as significant on an international scale,” said Ron James, state historic preservation officer. “The sleek design was ahead of its time, and the move toward internal combustion, even though this used gas, was an early step into the new century.”

The National Register is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation, overseen by the National Park Service.

The McKeen Car is a self-propelled gasoline engine railway motorcar built by the McKeen Motor Car Co. of Omaha, Neb., for the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Co. It was ordered in October 1909 at a cost of $22,000. It entered regular service on the V&T line between Carson City and Minden on June 2, 1910. This car was operated by the V&T until sold in 1945, running more than 500,000 miles of service. It’s housed at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, where it is undergoing restoration.

“The McKeen Car was purchased to serve the agricultural communities of the Carson Valley. It was listed in the register for the role it played in providing rail passenger and freight service to Carson City, Minden and Reno in the early 20th century as the Virginia and Truckee Railway Company expanded operations,” said Bert Bedeau, Comstock Historic District administrator and author of the nomination.

For a current list of properties in the National Register of Historic Places and Nevada State Register of Historic Places, visit the State Historic Preservation Office’s Web site at (click on SHPO). For information, call Terri McBride at 684-3445 or e-mail