Mining moves over for tourist railroad |

Mining moves over for tourist railroad

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of Gary Luce The future V&T Railway will cut through this area of the old Frehner Pit, which is mined for aggregate by Road and Highway Builders. The historic V&T alignment is the cut near the base of the hill.

An aggregate mining plant at the old Frehner Pit north of Mound House will be moved to make way for the reconstructed Virginia & Truckee Railway.

Project officials said Tuesday that relocating Road and Highway Builders’ asphalt-batch plant and truck scales will cost up to $200,000. The funds will come from the budget of the state commission reconstructing the 18-mile tourist railroad between Carson City and Virginia City.

“This will provide a better experience for tourists,” said Bob Hadfield, chairman of the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway. “We won’t be going through an actual mine. They will be able to observe, but we won’t have to be concerned with all the (mining) trucks.”

Tourists riding the reconstructed Virginia & Truckee Railway in 2010 will cruise along the rim of the open pit before crossing Highway 50 East and rolling into the future Carson City depot off Drako Way.

Hadfield said this agreement allows mining to continue at the pit and the railroad to get through without having to build a costly fill or divert miles out.

The right-of-way purchase agreement is still being hashed out with the land owners. Dan Kappes, a partner in Decommissioning Services, of Reno, said the company will sell the land to the V&T at a reduced cost.

“(The train) doesn’t help the value of the land, but historically it’s a nice thing to do, and we can accommodate it without hurting anything,” Kappes said. “It could have a negative impact on the mining of the pit, but people are accommodating it.”

The mining operator could not be reached for comment.

The sale could close by the end of the month. Kappes’ partners are Mike Cassiday and Jim Golden. Decommissioning Services closes old mining operations and conducts environmental cleanup. It owns 190 acres at 200 Industrial Parkway.

Ken Dorr, V&T project manager, said rail will be built in that phase in 2008. So far, a little over a mile of new rail has been constructed between Gold Hill and American Flat.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.