The 2016 Virginia & Truckee Railroad season is chugging full steam ahead. Authentic period steam trains ride through the heart of Nevada’s 1860s silver boom towns where legends of the Wild West were born and live on today along the original 16-mile route between Carson City and Virginia City.
The real deal and real feel of a clickety-clack steam engine trains depart weekends through October. The celebrated V&T Railroad rolls through stretches of high desert that retraces the famous Comstock-era right-of-way to Virginia City, a town ripe with colorful history of robber barons, miners, gunslingers, dance halls and saloon girls.
The ride features vistas of the Carson River and majestic Sierra Nevada, with engines passing through two tunnels, past abandoned mine shafts and old cemeteries along countryside where wild mustangs are often spotted. The weekend train features a 1916 Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0 (wheel configuration) steam engine leading fully restored Pullman passenger cars.
The V&T will offer a variety of ticket options and packages throughout the season:
- Wild West Wine Run: Passengers can relax on a vintage train ride to the Carson River Canyon on June 11. Live entertainment, snacks and white wine will be served on the 60-minute roundtrip featuring beautiful river canyon views. The Naughty Tea Mistresses of Nevada, Comstock-era performers, will entertain en route. The train departs the Carson City Eastgate Depot at 5 p.m. and returns at approximately 6 p.m. Advance booking is recommended.
- Father's Day Weekend: Take Dad out for an adventure-filled day on the V&T Railroad with steam train rides June 18-19 during Father's Day weekend. A professional photo to remember your special day is included.
- Dinner and Melodrama V&T Train: This will return on July 30, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10. A melodrama will play out during the ride to the Carson City Canyon with outlaws, in-laws and a cast of questionable characters. After the 45-minute excursion, a Western-style barbecue dinner and drinks are served at the depot.
- The Toast of the Canyon Wine Tasting Train: The wine tasting train returns the last Saturday of each month June through October. Great for an afternoon respite or when friends and family visit, this 45-minute ride includes appetizers provided by Red’s Old 395 Grill and perfectly paired with wine. This train travels south of the Carson City depot into the Carson River Canyon. The track winds past picturesque views of the river and the canyon walls with an opportunity to photograph the "Iron Horse" as it unhooks from the passenger cars to re-attach at the front of train for the return from the canyon.
Trains depart Carson City to Virginia City at 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $52 per adult, $48 for veterans and seniors 65 and older, $32 for children ages 3 to 16 and toddlers and infants are free. Private group discounted charters for 20 or more passengers are available.
The Carson City passenger station is at Eastgate Siding on Flint Drive off U.S. Highway 50 East. For the latest train updates or to purchase tickets, visit www.vtrailway.com or call 877-724-5007.