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We're Looking For...
April, 2003

Our mission at the Museum is dedicated to the restoration, preservation, interpretation and operation of the Nevada Northern Railway. If you should be cleaning out the garage, attic, basement, or storage shed and find artifacts from the Nevada Northern Railway, Nevada Consolidated Copper Company or Kennecott Copper, would you consider donating these items to the Museum?

So what are we looking for? Just about anything that had to do with the Nevada Northern and its relationship with copper. The artifact could be just about anything; photographs, clothing, lunch pails, maps, memos, ticket stubs, railroad passes, rule books, timetables, unpublished manuscripts, books-- you name it, we want to add it to our collection.

These small items will round out our collection at the Museum. Yes, we have Locomotive 93, and the ore cars and caboose. But it would further the connection with the past if we could display so & so's rulebook, train orders and lunch pail. It is these little items that will round out the collection.

One of the plans this season is to turn Baggage & Mail Car No. 20 into a rolling display for our guests who ride the Ghost Train. Built by American Car and Foundry and purchased secondhand in May 1907 from Harlan and Hollingsworth of Wilmington, Delaware. The car is 60'-10" long, wooden body with a composite frame and 4-wheel trucks. It was rebuilt with dummy vestibules in 1912.

The plan is to add Baggage & Mail Car No. 20 to the Ghost Train during the season. Inside will be a display of the history of the Nevada Northern Railway and the history of copper mining in White Pine County.

Now the Ghost Train takes its passengers to Keystone and Adverse. When the passengers arrive at Keystone all they see are the mine dumps and the head frame of the Deep Ruth Shaft. What they don't see is the inside of the pit, with a dozen dinky locomotives hauling loads to the top of the pit and returning empties to the bottom. Steam shovels loading the cars. Track gangs laying and relaying track throughout the pit. And then there would be the miners working underground in the Deep Ruth Shaft to mine the copper ore. The display in No. 20 would show this past.

Then there is Adverse and McGill. As the Ghost Train rolls up to Adverse, most passengers I'm sure think it is just a pretty ride. They cannot understand that at one time the mill and concentrator was here along with the highest double track trestle in Nevada. What was it like to work here?

The odds and ends that you might have tucked away would help to explain this to our visitors. If you have items that you want to donate to the Museum, please call, stop by or send us an email. Any item that is donated to our Museum would be added to the collection for the education and enlightenment of the future generations. Naturally, the Museum will credit the donation in your name. Thanks for helping to keep the past relevant.

 


 

Preservation — An Urgent Need

The premier attractions of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum are its two steam locomotives, 40 and 93. In 2000, new Federal Railroad Administration rules decreed that both locomotives would need boiler repairs to remain operational. The Nevada Northern Railway Museum invested over $350,000 in Locomotive 93 in 2001 to bring that locomotive into compliance. We used our limited resources to insure that we had a steam locomotive for the 2002 season. Why? There is an axiom in the tourist railroad industry: "Steam Sells". This is proven every weekend in Ely; our steam trains carry two to three times the passengers over our diesel trains.

• The Nevada Northern Railway Museum invested over $350,000 in Locomotive 93 to comply with Federal Railway Administration regulations.

This investment of so much of our limited resources in Locomotive 93 had a down side. Work stopped on Coach 5, a 116 year old passenger coach that is part of the Nevada Northern Railway Museumís collection. In 2000-2001 we invested over $225,000 in the restoration of Coach 5. The completion of this restoration will accomplish two things: 1) The ability to carry more passengers on our trains; and 2) the completion of the restoration will open up space in the machine for work to commence on Locomotive 40.

• Over $225,000 has been invested in the restoration of Coach 5, $80,000 is needed to complete work on this 116-year-old car.

The museum needs $580,000 to complete the work on Coach 5 and restore Locomotive 40. The urgency of these projects is tied directly to the success of the Museum. There is no back up for Locomotive 93. As a 93 year-old piece of Nevada history, it could fail at any time; then we would have no steam locomotive. This would have a devastating impact on our ability to carry passengers, which reflects on our ability to raise money and keep tourists in Ely.

• $580,000 is urgently needed to complete work on Coach 5 and restore Locomotive 40.

In the past five years the Nevada Northern Railway Museum has raised over $2,656,124 in cash to preserve this Nevada resource. This does not include the tens of thousands of hours that have been freely given to the Museum by its volunteers.

•Over $2,656,124 in cash has been raised to preserve this priceless Nevada resource, the Nevada Northern Railway.

 


 

Nevada Northern Applies for Save America's Treasures Grant

In April, 2002, the Nevada Northern Railway Museum applied for a Department of Interior Save America's Treasures (SAT) grant in the amount of $502,468.

This grant would provide funding for part of a $1,086,351 project that is designed to rescue steam locomotive No. 40 from its potential demise and our national historic structures from collapse.

The East Ely yards and shops were designated a National Historic District in 1993. They hold a 1907 depot and 45 additional historic structures, including one of the last remaining unaltered, operational engine houses and shops, the home to Engine No. 40.

However, No. 40 requires a complete retrofit, mandated by federal regulations, in order to again be operational. Additionally, the engine house and shop facility that houses and services the engine, requires an immediate and complete seismic and structural retrofit, or the building will be forced to become non-operational.

This project proposes to employ the SAT grant and matching funds to complete the engine house/shop and Engine No. 40 retrofits, averting the looming threats and continuing their 92-year symbiosis for future generations. The funding is also necessary to enable future steam engine restorations here. With SAT aid, the yards and shop may survive as the only example remaining in the country of original railroad equipment in its complete, original operational facility.

 

Without an immediate seismic and structural retrofit of the engine house and shop, the Ely complex cannot remain safely in operation and cannot continue operating as a historic railroad facility.

 

In support of the grant application, the State of Nevada Office of Historic Preservation has determined that the Nevada Northern Railway East Ely yards historic district is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places at the national significance level. Hopefully, this will result in upgrading the facilities to National Landmark status.

Support for the SAT grant have also come from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Great Basin National Park, White Pine County Commissioners, and the Ely City Council. Additional Support was received from both Senator Harry Reid and Senator John Ensign.

The SAT grant represents only about half of the funds required. Additional grants will be solicited. But you can help also!

1. Open your checkbook and join the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. Memberships start at $30/year, but if you send $40 to help with the rebuild of Engine No. 40, you'll receive a lapel pin of No. 40's number plate in addition to your membership.

2. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and let them know that we need their support on the SAT grant.


--from the May 2002 issue of Ghost Tracks

 


 

$92,000 Grant Received to Upgrade Engine House

In February, 2002, the Nevada Northern Railway was awarded a grant of $92,000 by the State of Nevada Commission on Cultural Affairs. This grant will be used to upgrade the electrical system in the engine house, repair and service the overhead crane, and replace the broken windows on the north and west side of the building.

The importance of the upgrading and replacement of the electrical system cannot be overemphasized. Volunteers will no longer have to climb ladders to open and close the 24-foot tall engine house doors.

In regards to the shop crane, there is nothing lightweight when it comes to working on railroad equipment. The crane was used extensively to remove and replace many heavy parts during the rebuild of engine 93.


From the May 2002 issue of Ghost Tracks

 

 


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