There’s been a lot of fighting between the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, which runs steam trains between Virginia City and Gold Hill, and the V&T Commission, which is building the tracks from Gold Hill to Carson City. The Commission has been very reluctant to let the V&T run their trains over the new tracks, even though the point of the new tracks is to, you know, run trains over them. But they must have reached some kind of detente because this fall the V&T will be running trains all the way down to the end of track near the Carson City Landfill. News Carson City has the details, which are these:
August 14th will be the ceremonial first run, with a train full of invitation-only VIPs. This is part of Railfest 2009.
August 15th and 16th the train will be open to the public, for a price. Tickets will run between $23-$48, with part of the proceeds going towards the fund to build the tracks through the Carson River Canyon. For tickets, call 687-7410.
These special fundraiser trains are planned to continue throughout the fall, every Saturday from August 22 through October 31. This will not just raise money for the project, it will also gauge interest in the revived railroad, so they can see if running daily trains in the future will be a workable plan.
It’s great to see the tracks finished as far as they are, and it’s great to see trains running on them finally, but it’s overshadowed by how messy the whole situation is between the V&T and the Commission, and how neither entity really seems to have much interest in working with the other to find an equitable solution. And it’s made extra messy by the fact that public funds were used to build the new rails, which of course puts extra scrutiny on every move made by either party, and shouts of “wasteful spending” have been coming from every corner since before the first shovel of dirt was turned. I don’t see any peaceful end to it.