Screams and steam on the Halloween Express |

Screams and steam on the Halloween Express

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Volunteer Mark Owens waits for the Halloween Express to pass at the Nevada State Railroad Museum on Sunday night. The inaugural event attracted more than 500 people to the museum for the spooky train ride.

Lainey Henderson and Ben Guberman spent their Sunday night dancing – in a graveyard.

Henderson and Guberman, both 16 and members of the Carson High School Drama Club, volunteered their time at the inaugural Halloween Express at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.

“The idea is to bring a haunted house to the rails,” said Shannan Hodgman, event coordinator. “It was an idea that had been in town for a while, to add another event and provide a safe place for kids to dress up that isn’t just trick-or-treating.”

The museum also hosts several train events including steam-ups and the annual Santa Train in December.

The Express featured a ride on the museum’s historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad equipment pulled by V&T Engine No. 25 as well as face painting and games at the depot.

Kori Dungey brought daughter Taylor, 2, dressed as a penguin for a ride.

“My daughter loves trains and this will be her first time riding,” Dungey said.

Five-year-old Cade Rombardo was just finishing his ride.

“I liked the monsters. We’ll I didn’t see them but I liked them,” Cade said.

Most of those monsters were played by members of the drama club, including 17-year-old Alicia Freeman.

“We are doing a skit with a couple trying to take a short cut and getting attacked by monsters,” Freeman said. “The museum asked us to come do it. We love being able to do things like this.”

As for the reactions from their audiences, the group said most of them watched wide-eyed, but they did get one interesting reaction.

“Somebody said, ‘they’re coming out of the bushes,'” said Justin Keller, 17.

In all, more than 500 people took a ride on the express, surprising organizers in its inaugural run.

“I was very surprised and excited, it’s more than I could hope for a first time,” Hodgman said.

With the success of the Express, Hodgman hopes the museum will considering expanding the event next year to several nights.

“That’s really a decision for the museum director but I’d like to see more nights added,” Hodgman said.

As for Henderson and Guberman, they will be happy to strap on their dancing shoes.

“I love making little kids laugh. It’s fun and I’ve got nothing better to do,” Henderson said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.