The Nevada Northern Railway is the sole survivor from a grand era when railroads served mines throughout the state. Built in 1905–1906 to develop the incredible copper deposits of the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company in White Pine County, it was—and still is—a workaday railroad. Although its primary purpose was to haul ore, it eventually served the community with a daily passenger train between East Ely and Cobre until 1941. Over 4.5 million people rode the trains, and a mountain of copper ore was moved. In 1983, the Nevada Northern Railway ceased operating, and two years later the entire ore line, including the railroad’s yard and shop facilities in East Ely, was donated to the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation that now operates the railway as a museum. Instead of relics in glass cases or repainted old equipment on static display, the museum preserves a working steam railroad, delighting train enthusiasts year-round with passenger service and special seasonal excursions.
Author Bio: Mark S. Bassett and J. Joan Bassett are the executive director and the curator of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum and tell the story of this railway from its beginning through today. Over 200 photographs chronicle what is considered to be the best preserved short line railroad left in the country.
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