NNRY/East Ely Depot Museum
Official Website: http://nnry.com/
The Nevada Northern Railway Complex is the best-preserved, least altered, and most complete main yard complex remaining from the steam railroad era. It was established in 1905 to support the area's booming copper mining industry. The era of dieselization of the railroad industry during the second half of the 20th century led to alterations and demolitions of railroad yards and shops nationwide. The East Ely yard escaped modernization because of its geographical remoteness and the decline of the mining industry it once served.
According to the Smithsonian Curator Emeritus, the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, a National Historic Landmark, is the best preserved, historic railroad "bar none." It's been voted "Best Place to Take Kids" for six years in a row by Nevada Magazine readers. It has also been featured many times on PBS, as well as The History Channel's television shows, "Modern Marvels" and "American Restorations." Various items from the station have been restored and featured on Rick Dale's “American Restorations." The episodes are:
1. "Knockout" featuring the Strongbox
2. "Suck Up" featuring the Vacuum Cleaner
3. "Tractors and Trucks" featuring the Air Brake Tester
4. "Kyle’s Promotion" featuring the Cement Gun
5. "Train Trouble" featuring a Fairmont Speeder.
6. "Mixed Signals" featuring the original wig-wag crossing signal
All of these items can be seen at the Nevada Northern Railway Museum.
The museum and railway is now the "hot spot" of Ely recreation. Employees have a blast as they entertain train riders, show visitors around the trainyard and shop, teach youngsters the exciting dynamics of a diesel engine, and even show them how to drive the train themselves. Special events liven up the railway even more with their special photo shoots, hand-car races, resident reality camps, railroad history symposiums and lectures, and much more!
At periodic times or seasons, the museum operates the following special event trains:
Rockin' & Rollin' Geology Train
This special event train excursion features presentations by local geologists covering railroad & mining history with a show and tell of ore samples from the Robinson Nevada Mining District. Reservations are suggested.
Wild West Limited
This steam train excursion includes cowboys and cowboy action. Watch your wallet - this train may just be held up!
Steptoe Valley Flyer
This museum-highlight train travels back in time to deliver a classic railroad experience. The Steptoe Valley Flyer was the train that carried 4.5 million passengers from 1906 to 1941 to White Pine County, Nevada. Departing from the original depot, passengers board the original first-class passenger car #5 (built in 1882) behind baggage/railway US Post Office car #20 (built in 1906) and steam locomotive #40 (built in 1910). Reservations are suggested for these much-in-demand trips. An emigrant's meal is served.
Come accompany Executive Director Mark Bassett on a behind the scenes tour of the railroad museum showcasing the restored artifacts that were featured on History Channel's American Restoration TV Show. You will board the train and be taken to the center of the yard to begin a short narrated tour. After the tour join Mark on a train trip pulled by one of the original century-old steam locomotives for a trip back in time.
Haunted Ghost Trains
Riders should prepare themselves for a scary trip on a haunted train. Ghost stories come alive as local volunteers create a thematic experience for all those aboard. Zombies, ghosts, ghouls, aliens and even Bigfoot could appear at any time!
See the video (Click Here)
This Christmas seasonal train is one of the highlights of the year. The Polar Express heads to the "North Pole" to visit with Santa Claus. On the trip, volunteers serve hot chocolate and cookies as they read the story the Polar Express. Reservations are suggested for these much-in-demand trips.
See the video (Click Here)
A Taste of Italy
Join us for a multi-course Italian meal with wine served aboard the train. All beverages are included. Reservations are strongly suggested for this much-in-demand trip
The museum collection includes three steam locomotives, an electric locomotive, and several diesel-electric locomotives, as well as a collection of maintenance equipment and numerous historic freight and passenger rail cars.
The museum is open everyday but Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Admission fees: Adults - $2.00, Museum members and children under 18 are free.
Call the museum at 775-289-2085
or order online.
The museum is an easily located landmark in Ely Nevada. Continue east on the junction Highway 50 and Highway 93 to the stoplight. Turn North and drive to the end of the road. The museum is located in the Historic Depot building at the end of the road.