Phase one celebration set for November | NevadaAppeal.com

Phase one celebration set for November

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Nevada Historical Society/Photo California, Nevada, Railroad Historical Excursion train to Virginia City on June 5, 1938, at the Gold Hill Depot.

Surrounded by relics of the historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad, the new railway will be celebrated.

Even though the first phase of the V&T Railway was completed in September, the state commission in charge of the reconstruction is celebrating it the second week of November.

Kevin Ray, project coordinator for the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway, said the “silver spike” ceremony will be at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, 2180 S. Carson St. and will feature keynote speakers Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt.

“We’ll have huge displays up for people to see the progress, maps and photos,” he said. “Commissioners will be available to answer any questions the public will have.”

The date and time have not been set, pending verification with Reid and Hunt’s schedules. Ray said that the ceremony was delayed so long after the completion of phase one to ensure that both Reid and Hunt could attend.

“We want their presence because of their dedication to the project,” he said.

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Hunt has long been an advocate of the tourism benefits of the railway. Reid helped secure $10 million attached to the federal transportation bill for the V&T.

The ceremony celebrates the “silver spike,” but there really won’t be one. Ray said the symbol is supposed to convey completion, in this case, completion of phase one from the Gold Hill depot to American Flat.

The Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau has contributed almost $5 million in room tax revenue toward the project.

“I think something we always have to keep in mind, we are celebrating completing one phase, but we have to keep in mind that we are getting ready to start another one (phase),” said visitors bureau Executive Director Candy Duncan. “We need to bring that train into Carson City.”

The ceremony will be set in a place that honors the V&T Railway, said museum Director Peter Barton. The museum has the Inyo, the No. 22, built in 1875, the No. 27 and the No. 25 built in 1905. The No. 18 Dayton is on loan to the Virginia City Comstock History Center, which will open at the end of October. The museum also displays box cars, passenger coaches and flat cars from the railroad.

— Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.