OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ELY—The Nevada Northern Railway Museum returns for another season as the working historic railroad rolls back visitor favorites and adds new events sure to be crowd pleasers.

Steam powered excursion trains start April 7 at 1 p.m. The Nevada Northern is unique among railroad museums, not only offering visitors the chance to see history, but to experience it as it was a century ago with rides, tours and other events on this living, working railroad.

The Pony Express Limited returns for the second straight year on May 19, with special, celebratory postage, Pony Express horseback riders and photo opportunities.

New this year will be the Iron Horse Cookery Cook Off. Inspired by the recipes railroaders used to cook meals in the fireboxes of locomotives, Nevada Northern will host a cook off on Sept. 2. Teams of four will compete to cook traditional recipes, and fire-cooked bacon will be provided to all.

The railroad is famous for its Hands On History programs. New this year among those programs will be the Paint the Railroad Red and BBQ Week, premiering the week before Memorial Day. This is an opportunity for the public to help preserve this National Historic Landmark by helping to paint the buildings.

Memorial Day weekend itself will offer free rides to all active and retired members of the military. Check out Mother’s Day, too, when all moms ride free.

Visitor favorites include Be the Engineer where visitors actually take the throttle of a century old steam locomotive, or Ride with the Engineer in the cab of the locomotive.

Special train rides such as the Rockin’ & Rollin’ Geology Trains, Fourth of July Fireworks train, and the Wild West Limited, along with regular train rides are also popular experiences.

Also new this year, guests to Nevada Northern will be able to try their hands on an authentic handcar, ride in a railroad speeder (a miniature railcar used to perform rail maintenance) as well as a Hi-Rail truck, and later in the year, a 1958 Pontiac Hy-rail Station Wagon will be restored and available to ride. For an immersive, working experience there is Railroad Reality Week, an intense hands-on opportunity to actually work on the railroad “all the live-long day.” As the season winds down, a Halloween Ghost Train offers up fun frights in October, and the Polar Express train ride celebrates the holiday spirit.

Don’t have time to ride the train? There’s still plenty to see and do on a visit to this National Historic Landmark. At most museums guests go into one building, but at Nevada Northern Railway guests go into multiple buildings and see first-hand what it takes to keep a 19th century railroad operating in the 21st century. At the Nevada Northern Railway, history is not something in books but touchable and the 2018 season offers something for every member of the family.  For more information and a complete schedule, go to www.nnry.com.

For more information, call 775-289-2085, log onto www.NNRY.com or for regular updates “Like” the Railway’s Facebook page.