McKeen Motor Car First Run

Of all the things for me to miss…Peter Barton of the Nevada State Railroad Museum posted this message to Facebook today (Thursday):

A little before 9am today the railroad restoration shop crew at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City eased McKeen Motor Car, V&T No. 22 out of the shop and gingerly, ever so slowly, onto the turntable. Amazingly the wheel sets just fit on the table. So, the next obvious question to answer was whether the car could be turned. She could and we did. So now, lined up to the A” Line should we tempt fate and make the ultimate test of our confidence and move the car onto the railroad? We did. She moved smoothly through the first set of switches, over the diamond and down into the “hole.” More switches, moving southbound now, headed to Wabuska Depot. Crossing the first grade crossing and easing up along the platform at Wabuska. Would she clear the platform? She did. We observed carefully to insure she fit under the water tower. She did. More switches, more power and we started up the hill. Around the loop the car moved almost effortlessly. Brakes worked fine, power was ample, back to the Depot. We climbed off and stood silently in the sun observing the car and the depot ? a scene of a century ago yet frozen still in time. Filled with emotion, we couldn’t speak but we knew the importance of this moment. Back aboard, retracing our route and back onto the turntable. On the ground admiring this awesome living artifact sitting astride the turntable, we shook hands and noted those who made this day possible: DeWitt, Stiver, Hobold, Tatum, Harding, Huffman, Ackerman, O’Cain, Smith, Wyatt, Drew, and Bernhard to name but a few. Chris DeWitt backed the car off of the turntable and back into the shop.

Now that I would have liked to see.

0 comments

  1. ok why does the old pic of the #22 look like it has 3 or 4 doors on the side with the head light and bell on top and the today pic of the #22 had 2 doors and head light down lower and no belll or head light on top? im lost was there 2 diffant #22 or am i seeing things

  2. The V&T modified #22 over the years, especially as they used it just as much for carrying mail and freight as for passengers. So they cut a variety of new doorways into the body and mounted a locomotive light on top. The restoration team at the museum brought #22 back to the way it was when it came from the factory. This photo shows the car in the early days, before the modifications.

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