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Short Story
by Peg Franchetti, Administrative Assistant
Nevada State Railroad Museum/Boulder City

Boulder Branch Railroad Line

Some of you may not know it, but there is a railroad museum right here in Boulder City. The Nevada State Railroad Museum (NSRM) in Boulder City is one of seven museums managed by the State Division of Museums and History, an agency of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The Nevada State Railroad Museum was established in 1985 after the Union Pacific Railroad donated the land and track to the State of Nevada. The main focus of the NSRM is the operation of the Nevada Southern Railway excursion train which runs along a portion of the original Boulder Branch Line that was built in 1931 to take supplies and construction materials to the Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam). Although the tracks no longer go to the Dam, the NSRM has round-trip excursion train rides between Boulder City and Railroad Pass (about seven miles round trip) every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The train departs from the Depot located at 601 Yucca Street and the ride is approximately 40 minutes in duration. Fares are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 4 through 11. There is no charge for children under four.

In addition to the regular train rides, the Railroad Museum has some special events planned during the remainder of 2010. On September 25 and 26, they will hold their 2nd Great Train Robbery. Members of the Reenactment Guild of America, costumed in Wild West attire, will “hold up” the trains of the Nevada Southern Railway. The heist will be complete with mock gunfire (outside the train only) and general merriment. The first Great Train Robbery held on April 3 was a huge success and was sold out. This time the NSRM will be pre-selling tickets to the event at their Ticket Office only on Saturdays and Sundays starting August 21. They will operate the train at their regular departure times and charge their standard fares.

They are also planning a Halloween Train for October 30 and 31 in conjunction with Wicked Haunts of Boulder City. The train will be decorated for Halloween and ghouls and goblins will be on board. Again, the Museum will run their normal train schedule and charge their standard fares. However, children through age 11 dressed in their Halloween costumes will be able to ride for free.

The Railroad Museum’s last event for 2010 will be their annual Santa Train which is entering its 9th year. It takes place the first two weekends in December – December 4, 5, 11 and 12. Santa and Mrs. Claus ride the train and visit with all of the boys and girls. They also have Santa’s Mailbox for letters to Santa, Santa’s Sleigh for photo ops of your children, and the Yule Time Express, which is a complimentary train ride (donations appreciated) on the Ole ‘97 to the bone yard where they store many of the non-operational train cars.

In addition, the Silver State Toy Train Operating Society sets up a very popular toy train display in the NSRM’s maintenance building. The TTOS also has food and hot cocoa available for purchase. The Santa Train will run every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is always sold out. Pre-sale tickets will be available starting October 1, and I strongly encourage you to purchase the tickets in advance. Tickets for adults and children of all ages are $4. After September 1, additional information will be available at and

In addition to their ongoing train rides, the NSRM offers the rental of their Dining Car or the entire train for birthday parties, weddings or other functions. They also recently rented the space in their maintenance building for a wedding ceremony – that was a first for the NSRM. It seems like an unlikely place for a wedding, but with a few added decorations and the locomotive #1000 as a backdrop, it looked great. At the beginning of the wedding, the locomotive #844 blew its horn as it drove by on its regularly scheduled run and, after saying their vows, the bride and groom kissed on the #1000.

In addition, the NSRM offers special runs for school field trips or other groups of 25 or more on Thursdays and Fridays. Since the first of the year, the Nevada State Railroad Museum has hosted 29 school groups and four senior groups on the train for a total of close to 2,000 students and adults. With as many as 200 children on some of these runs, the energy level was high enough to power Boulder City for a week – if only we could somehow harness it.

For additional information on the Nevada State Railroad Museum, please all 702-486-5933 or visit our websites at and

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