Submitted by the Nevada Northern Railway

The First National Bank of Ely has issued a $30,000 Challenge Grant to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. Through Dec. 31, the First National Bank of Ely, will match all giving to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum either as memberships, membership renewals or donations up — to $30,000 – dollar for dollar!

John C. Gianoli, president of First National Bank of Ely said, “The Nevada Northern Railway is a community treasure, but the fact of the matter is that the costs of operating the railroad cannot be covered by ticket prices alone. Last year, we issued a $25,000 Challenge that the railroad was able to match. So this year, we thought we would increase it to $30,000. The rules of the challenge grant are pretty simple. Every dollar that is raised by the railroad until December 31, 2014 will be matched by First National Bank of Ely dollar for dollar up to $30,000.”

According the Mark Bassett, executive director of the railroad, the timing couldn’t be better. “The railroad has three critical needs for those dollars! Locomotives 105 and 109 need new cylinder liners: estimated cost is $40,000. Locomotive 93 needs running gear and throttle work: estimated cost is $20,000.  The combined total of the repairs needed is $60,000.”

“If we can match the generous $30,000 challenge donation from the First National Bank of Ely then we can keep all three of our historic locomotives in operation! Yes, it is a major undertaking, but it is doable,” according to Bassett.

Bassett further explained, “It is very easy to help; you can make a donation to the museum, or if you’re not a museum member, become a member and if you are already a member, renew your membership. And as a thank you from the museum, all contributions over $30 will receive the Nevada Northern Railway 2015 Commemorative Coin.”

Annually, since 2005, the museum has struck a Commemorative Coin. The 2015 Commemorative Coin features Nevada Northern Railway Locomotive #1. It was built by the American Locomotive Company in June 1869 for the Central Pacific Railroad and was named the Juno. It was purchased by the Nevada Northern Railway on November 18, 1905 for passenger service, the cost was $4,018. The coin is available in either copper, cupric-nickel or 1 ounce of .9999 fine silver. It is the first coin in the series that will commemorate the locomotives of the railroad.  The coin is struck in Nevada.

To make your donation or to become a member is simple and easy. You can drop by the museum at 1100 Avenue A or you can give us a call at 775-289-2085. Or if you prefer, you can make a donation on the web at

Time is of the essence, First National Bank of Ely will only match donations, memberships or renewals until Dec. 31. And when the year ends, so ends the chance to double your financial contribution to the railroad. So don’t delay, your contribution will keep the Nevada Northern Railway rollin’ into the New Year!

With everyone’s combined efforts and the challenge donation from First National Bank of Ely, we can reach that target of $60,000! If we are successful we will keep: not one; not two — but three of the museum’s priceless, original locomotives in operation to the delight of our visitors.

The Nevada Northern Railway Museum is a National Historic Landmark. The readers of Nevada Magazine have voted the Nevada Northern Railway Museum the Best Rural Museum and the Best Place to Take the Kids.  The Nevada Northern Railway Museum has been featured on Modern Marvels, American Restorations and on PBS. The museum is a recognized the Internal Revenue Service a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Financial contributions to the museum are tax-deductible as allowed by law. For more information, please call us at 775-289-2085.  Or visit our website at or see us on Facebook.