Locomotives steam up in Carson City (photos)

Locomotives steam up in Carson City (photos)
Named for John William Bowker, the Virginia and Truckee’s No. 21 steam locomotive brings back memories of when the train was a common sight in western Nevada. The Nevada State Railroad Museum recently hosted the Great Western Steam Up. Steve Ranson / Nevada News Group

CARSON CITY — The 150th anniversary commemorating the completion of the rail line and subsequently connecting the Queen of the Comstock to San Francisco attracted hundreds of people to the Nevada State Railroad Museum during the long Fourth of July weekend. The anniversary marked the first passenger service to San Francisco via the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.

The Great Western Steam Up attracted a reunion of V&T locomotives that became a common everyday fixture during the railroad’s golden years. Originally built to haul freight and ore from the Virginia City mines, the V&T expanded to serve Reno and Minden. At its peak, 45 trains were either hauling ore or passengers.

The Nevada State Railroad Museum collaborated with other rail museums to make the Great Western Steam Up a success. Museum Director Dan Thielen said this is the first time in 80 years that these locomotives have been on the same track together.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Nevada State Railroad Museum.