ELY—Ely’s must-see attraction Nevada Northern Railway is gearing up for another exciting season of sights, stories and steam. The trains have officially hit the rails for 2019, pulled by century-old steam locomotives now through the end of October.
May 10 marks 150 years since the Transcontinental Railroad was completed. Nevada Northern Railway will celebrate the occasion from May 4-12 with daily excursions. On May 10, both of the locomotives will be fired up to replicate the famous photo, situated pilot-to-pilot. After the ceremony, the machines will haul the premier Copper Spike Limited in railroad parlance as a double-header, meaning that both locomotives will haul the same train. Durango’s Bar D Wranglers will perform a free concert in the freight depot upon the Copper Spike Limited’s return. There will also be a special exhibit in the East Ely Depot on the Transcontinental Railroad that will be on display until October 31. Don’t forget, May 12 is Mother’s Day and all moms ride free.
Labor Day weekend marks the inaugural Iron Horse Cookery Cook-Off where teams of four cooks will be put to the test as they recreate traditional recipes inspired by railroaders from earlier days. Meals are cooked directly in the fireboxes of locomotives and on the caboose stove for the judging panel. In addition to their signature competition dishes, they’ll prepare enough fire-cooked bacon for the crowd to also try.
The Pony Express Limited shows a reenactment of two riders handing off a mochila full of mail. Guests go home with printed envelopes and stamps as a souvenir. The Wild West Limited provides a glimpse into the old wild west, with appearances by horses, cowboys and even outlaws on a journey from Ely to Keystone Gulch – hold onto those wallets.
Ride with the Engineer in the cab of the locomotive – the best seat in the house, or Be the Engineer, and get down and dirty working on machinery and operating the engine. Learn even more about what it takes to keep the rails rolling by participating in Railroad Reality Week.
The Rockin’ & Rollin’ Geology Train digs-in to history with mining geologists teaching about the area, a top-copper-producer for over 70 years in the 20th century.
The Fourth of July Fireworks Express stops on the way back from Ruth Mining District for a killer view of the fireworks show from the back of a steam train or from your personal lawn chair.
The Haunted Ghost Train is the spookiest place to be this Halloween, with unnerving displays of zombies, headless horsemen, alien activity and also featuring plenty of ghost stories.
Once the snow has fallen, Santa’s Reindeer Flyer train will make its way to the North Pole. Once at the North Pole, Santa will board the train and visit with every passenger. So, be sure to bring your wish list as you will be able to give it to the jolly old elf yourself.
Art and Adventure to be
Discovered in Ely
Ely is filled with art, history and adventure; while in town, window shop and appreciate over works of art on the Ely Art Walk or check out local artist and craftspeople cooperative spaces at Garnet Mercantile and Ely Art Bank. Downstairs in the Art Bank you’ll also find the largest artwork display in rural Nevada.
Catch a flick at Ely’s Central Theater, showing first-run movies daily from a state-of-the-art projector or head to White Pine Public Museum, which displays the most complete fossilized skeleton ever found of a giant short-faced bear, originally discovered in a cave in High Schells Wilderness.
Ely is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering world-class mountain biking directly from downtown with a new connector accessing the Ward Mountain trail system. Or take the family to hunt for garnets at Garnet Hill Recreation Area and keep the treasures you find as souvenirs. The railway museum is in close proximity to scenic Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park and Cave Lake State Park. Don’t miss the Success Loop Scenic Drive or exploring through beautiful Great Basin National Park while visiting the area.
About the Nevada Northern Railway: The Nevada Northern Railway Museum is a designated National Historic Landmark. Voted the state’s Best Rural Museum and the Best Place to Take the Kids by readers of Nevada Magazine, the Nevada Northern Railway Museum also has been featured on Modern Marvels, American Restorations and on PBS. For more information, call 775-289-2085, log onto NNRY.com or to get the latest news “Like” the Railway’s Facebook page.