V&T engine to stay with McCloud No. 18
June 6, 2007
The steam engine purchased for the expected Carson City to Virginia City rail line won’t be getting a new name.
The Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T voted Monday not to change the name of the McCloud No. 18, which the commission purchased from the McCloud Railway Co. in 2005, to the Washoe No. 10.
Ted Short, a former Washoe County Commissioner and member of the Northern Nevada Railway Foundation, asked the commission to rename the locomotive so he could convince Washoe County residents to raise funds to pay off the $420,000 engine.
Short proposed a fundraising program.
“Washoe County has given $300,000 from its general fund,” he said. “That means it came from every taxpayer in Washoe County.”
Short said it was the right approach to use to get Washoe County residents behind the train.
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“I know we can raise the rest of the money to buy the Washoe,” he said. “The name Washoe will get people involved.”
But Commissioner Ron Allen objected to the change.
“I don’t like to mess with history, and I don’t think the locomotive is the place to start naming things,” he said. “It can be held to coaches, and that’s something they’ve always done.”
Allen said the McCloud No. 18 had 90 years of its own history that should be preserved.
Commissioner John Tyson supported naming railroad cars after the various counties, with advertising in each one extolling the virtues of that county.
Commissioner Doug Johnson suggested it was a dangerous road to go down to name locomotives after whomever raises the most funds.
“What’s next, the Coke Engine, or the Google Engine?” he asked.
But Bonnie Weber, who represents Washoe County on the commission, said the renaming could aid in fundraising and save taxpayers money.
“I think it would be a great idea to pay for engines or cars and quit using taxpayers’ money,” she said.
She noted that McCloud was in California. “I think Washoe is a better name.”
Allen, Tyson, Johnson, Larry McPherson opposed changing the name, and Weber, Marv Teixiera and Janice Ayres were in favor of it.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111 ext. 351.