V&T considers buying turntable | NevadaAppeal.com

V&T considers buying turntable

by Susie Vasquez
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Workers move sections of the future V&T Railroad bridge near Mound House on Monday afternoon. The bridge made the 400-mile trip from Las Vegas Friday and Saturday, and will remain in storage until it is ready to be placed over Highway 50.

In addition to last weekend’s arrival of the G-790 bridge from Las Vegas, the Virginia & Truckee Railroad reconstruction project got boost Monday when officials tentatively approved the purchase of a railroad turntable from the Nevada State Museum.

Used to rotate train engines at their terminal points, the turntable was purchased in California’s Amador County in 1982, said V&T spokesman Ron Allen.

“It was to be installed at the Railroad Museum, but was deemed not necessary or appropriate for its size,” he said. “The museum kept it in storage all this time, but it’s finally been released as surplus.”

The 45,000-pound turntable includes all the hardware, such as a center turn-bearing section and rim rails. Commission members agreed that the cost of building a one new would top $100,000, and this one is selling for $10,000. Transportation is estimated at about $5,000, and the whole project, including renovation, should cost about $20,000, V&T officials said.

“It’s a real boon for us,” Allen said.

The purchase is far from complete. V&T officials must first go before the State Museum Board in June, and at least two other parties are interested in the turntable, Allen said.

If the Nevada Commission to Reconstruct the V&T Railway gets the turntable, Storey County officials have offered to store it in Virginia City, where it would ultimately be used.

“We might not need to install the turntable right away, but it will be tough to operate that railroad without it,” said Kim Fegert, spokesman for the Gold Hill Historical Society. “We don’t have the property to do anything else.”

Built in the 1960s as a spur for the Union Pacific Railroad, the G-790 train bridge will span Highway 50 near the border of Carson City and Lyon County. It was placed on an unused runway at the Parker/Carson Stolport airfield on Monday until it’s placed over the highway.

“To me, this is bringing the past to the future. This is the future of Northern Nevada,” said V&T spokesman Kevin Ray. “The restoration of the V&T will bring 160,000 visitors a year and $16 million to Northern Nevada.”

In other business:

• Commissioners approved $83,000 for 12,960 tons of ballast, the rock material used to stabilize rail beds. The money will be used for transport, and the ballast is being donated by Granite Construction from the Reno Trench Project.

• Carson City Nugget representative Kelli Brant presented the commission with $4,365, proceeds from Saturday’s benefit concert sponsored by the Nugget and featuring David John and the Comstock Cowboys.

Contact Susie Vasquez at svasquez@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.