V&T symposium next week
This year’s Virginia & Truckee Railroad Symposium will examine other railroads that connected to the famed line. Several prominent Western railroad historians will speak, in addition to the popular workshops, banquet and guided hikes.
The banquet will feature an address by Dr. Sue Fawn Chung of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, History Department.
The 32nd annual symposium is Friday through Sunday at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, old railroad sites and the Carson Nugget Casino.
Friday’s highlights include Wendell Huffman, Charlie Siebenthal, Kyle Williams-Wyatt, Mike Collins and Larry Hersh speaking on the early history of the Central Pacific and its connection to the V&T. Nevada State Historian Guy Rocha will address new aspects of the history of the Carson & Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Co. Stephen Drew will outline proposed branches that were never constructed.
On Saturday, Charlie Siebenthal, Brian Norden and Dale Darney will discuss the V&T’s subsidiary line, the Carson & Colorado Railroad. Paul Martineau will make a presentation on the Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad. The afternoon will conclude with a presentation on the Sierra Nevada lumber railroads that connected to the V&T via the Central Pacific.
Sunday’s restoration shop talk will include an update on the McKeen car and restoration plans. Then there is a guided hiking tour of the former Carson & Tahoe Lumber & Fluming Co. railroad.
The railroad museum’s Dan Thielman conducted a similar hike last year. He described how Duane L. Bliss had lumber for the Comstock mines towed across Lake Tahoe to Glenbrook, loaded onto railcars for the trip to Spooner Summit, then sent by flume down to Carson lumber yards.
George Baumgartner, curator of natural history at the Nevada State Museum, was the hike naturalist. He pointed to manzanita shrubs and bitter brush along the rail grade.
“We wanted him to come along and provide some context because railroads don’t operate in a vacuum,” said museum director John Ballweber.
Other activities include a pre-symposium model railroaders’ workshop and daily excursions for participants’ spouses.
Registration is limited to 200 participants. Fees are $70 for Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum members, $80 for nonmembers and $90 at the door. Fees cover Friday and Saturday sessions and a Friday night reception at the museum, Saturday night banquet at the Nugget and a Sunday morning program in the museum’s restoration shop.
If You Go
What: 32nd annual Virginia & Truckee Railroad Symposium
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson Nugget and historic sites near Spooner Summit
Cost: $70 for Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum members, $80 for nonmembers and $90 at the door