Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Happy Nevada Day

Friday was Nevada Day; the 150th anniversary of Nevada's statehood. Celebrations have been going on all year, and among them were special activities at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City on Friday and Saturday.

We went to Carson City on Saturday afternoon, getting away later than originally planned. Traffic was heavy in Carson City because of the Nevada Day parade, which was still going on when we managed to find a parking space. We only watched a small part of the parade before getting lunch at the Carson City Nugget and heading to the Museum.

Riding the McKeen Car
I have written before about the NSRM's meticulously restored McKeen Motor Car #22. One of the creations of the Omaha-based McKeen Company that roads tried operating as a lower-cost alternative passenger service, #22 ran on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad for many years before sitting derelict for many more years, spending time as a diner and then part of plumbing supply company before the Museum rescued it and brought it back to life. They run the McKeen Car on special occasions, of which Nevada Day weekend was the last such this year. We bought tickets for the last run of the day.

The next-to-last run of the day was circling the Museum grounds as we arrived.

On Board the McKeen Car
Inside the car evokes the Good Old Days of railroading. The hooks in the ceiling are for holding open the porthole-style windows, not that you'd want the windows open on a cold day like Saturday. Although they do work (one of the volunteers demonstrated it), the Museum prefers not to operate the cars with the windows open, for if a latch fails, the falling window could be very dangerous. (It's not really a very good design.)

Rear View of the McKeen Car
An advantage of riding the last run of the day is that you get bonus mileage: the car backs up (this view is out the round rear end "observation lounge") to a point signed as "Hobo Junction," then rolls on to the track near the car barn.

Putting the Car in the Garage
At the car barn, it's everybody off. However, there's one last bit of show, as the only way to access the car barn is via the turntable.

This is a moderately tricky operation. The car just barely fits on the turntable, and in fact the ends overhang it, but the trucks do fit. This is an "armstrong" turntable, meaning that you need strong arms to turn it as there's no motor. At the invitation of the staff, I and others helped move the turntable to the car barn track.

A Tight Fit
After the rest of us were shooed back and the safety interlock engaged (a job pictured here that requires climbing under the car and that we're told goes to the junior-most volunteer), the car backed into the barn for a winter's rest.

There was more to see besides the motor car, although our late start meant we only had a few minutes to do so.

Restoring the Glenbrook
This is the locomotive Glenbrook which once hauled log trains on an isolated stretch of railroad at Lake Tahoe to a log flume that led to a yard a stone's throw from the current site of the NSRM.

Restoring the Glenbrook
Glenbrook was on static display in Carson City for many years before the NSRM undertook the current restoration project after they finished the McKeen Car.

Restoring the Glenbrook
A key milestone in the locomotive's restoration is coming soon: a boiler inspection. According to the Museum newsletter, this has been a frustrating saga. There appears to be only one boiler inspector in the whole state who has even seen a steam boiler on wheels, and he's in Las Vegas. The inspector apparently is coming up to Carson City soon, and once he's certified the boiler, they can finish the restoration so that Glenbrook can steam again.

We made a brief foray into the museum bookstore and spent more money there before closing time. Then we headed north to Reno to do some shopping and have dinner before returning home. We've put off our main grocery shopping until Monday (Lisa has an appointment with the TMJ specialist tomorrow afternoon) because when the 1st falls on a weekend, the grocery stores are a madhouse so we avoid shopping then if we can.

We had a good day and enjoyed our way of celebrating the birthday of our adopted home state.
Tags: nevada, trains

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