Millard new V&T chairman |

Millard new V&T chairman

Dave Frank
Dwight Millard

Dwight Millard says he wants to start train rides from Virginia City to Carson City as soon as possible as the new chairman of the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway.

The nine-member state commission building an 18-mile tourist railroad elected Millard as chairman Monday.

“My emphasis is getting a train running so we can have something,” Millard said.

Millard, owner of Carson City-based Millard Realty, said he wants to run the first train from Virginia City to Carson City on the partially finished track at Railfest the weekend of Aug. 15.

The commission has a done great job building the track, he said, and he wants to take advantage of that.

“I hope I’m right without offending too many people,” he said.

The commission will finish about 7.5 miles of track from Gold Hill to Highlands Drive in Carson City this month. It got $3 million in federal stimulus funds for another mile of track that will take the track to the Carson River Canyon. Work is expected to start in July.

The Virginia City-based V&T Railroad Company, whose private track connects to the commission’s track, would run the train rides at Railfest if the commission can reach an agreement with it. The company’s track runs from Virginia City to Gold Hill.

Millard, who was appointed by Gov. Jim Gibbons to the commission in July 2007, replaced Bob Hadfield as chairman.

Hadfield said Millard is qualified and “will do fine” as new chairman.

Millard also has the advantage of close ties in Carson City and as chairman of the Carson City Convention and Visitors’ Bureau board, Hadfield said.

“He has every opportunity to be a good chair,” Hadfield said.

But Millard might be inclined to agree with commissioners who want to not only build the railroad, but to operate the trains running on it.

Running a train should only be a private operator’s business, Hadfield said.

Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell, the city’s representative to the commission, replaced John Flanagan, Storey County’s representative, as commission vice chairman.

Crowell said he is “pleased” with Millard’s election and hopes to work with him to improve the region’s economy through the V&T Railway.

“We need to focus on running a train on those tracks as soon as possible,” he said.