The Dayton is coming to VC History Center |

The Dayton is coming to VC History Center

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of Nevada State Railroad Museum Instead of displaying Engine No. 27 at the Comstock History Center as originally planned, the Department of Cultural Affairs will exhibit Engine 18, The Dayton, an 1870s-era locomotive that served Virginia City, as decided Monday at the Storey County Commission meeting.

VIRGINIA CITY – The 60-ton Dayton locomotive will be brought here in late August on a flatbed truck for display in the Comstock Historic Center, a Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs official said Monday.

Scott Sisco, interim director of the state department of cultural affairs, said the locomotive will be transported from the Nevada State Railroad Museum on Aug. 25 to the $830,000 historic center under construction at E and Union streets. The center’s grand opening is Aug. 27.

Ron James, state historic preservation officer, said he was contacted by about 50 people who said they preferred to have the Dayton, No. 18, rather than the No. 27 engine.

“About 90 percent of the people (he spoke to) said the Dayton makes a lot more sense because it operated in Virginia City’s heyday,” he told the Storey County Commission during its afternoon meeting. “Although the No. 27 was a sentimental favorite, it didn’t work up here.”

James said there are no plans to make the No. 27 or the Dayton serviceable.

Even though the department has decided to display the Dayton, that doesn’t mean it’ll be in the historic center for more than a couple years.

“It won’t be up here forever,” he said. “We hope to change them out every two, three or four years.”

So, fans of the stately classic black No. 27 will see it again in Virginia City. James said the switch won’t happen too often because it costs the department about $10,000 to make a round trip with one of the engines.

Marilou Walling, county administrative officer, said so many people love the No. 27 because it’s a familiar sight.

“We have this passion for the 27 because it was down here for so many years,” she said.

The No. 27 was displayed in Virginia City for 22 years before it was brought to the railroad museum in Carson City for renovation.

Virgil Bucchianeri, who was sitting in for the county district attorney, said he is one of the few people who remember riding behind the No. 27 when it ran on the V&T line connecting Carson Valley and Carson City to the Transcontinental Railroad in Reno. He supported bringing the Dayton to Virginia City’s new historic center.

The No. 27, a 4-6-0, is much larger than the 4-4-0 Dayton.

“The Dayton was built by the Central Pacific Railroad Shop in Sacramento in 1873,” said Burt Bedeau, district administrator for the Comstock Historic District. “It’s the only one built by the CP shop that is still around. The 27 is a much later engine. It was built in 1913 by Baldwin Locomotive Works – a lot were manufactured by Baldwin. This model, the 10-wheel, was the most common they built.”

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.

Dayton facts

NAME: The Dayton, No. 18

built: by the Central Pacific Railroad Shop in Sacramento in 1873. It’s the only one built by the Central Pacific shop still in existence.

Weight: 60 tons

Arrival: Virginia City History Center Aug. 25