All Aboard! Adventure with the V&T Railway

Picture this: a restored 1914 Pullman coach, led by a magnificent 1916 Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive, chugging along the tracks as you sit back and relax. The 24-mile round trip offers more than just a scenic ride—it’s a fully narrated adventure filled with fascinating historical facts and immersive storytelling. You’ll travel through tunnels, marvel at canyons and mountains, learn about mining towns, and possibly spot wild mustangs! 

This is the Virginia & Truckee (V&T) Railway experience. And it’s back for 2023. PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

Unearthing the railway’s legacy 

The V&T Railway—one of America’s most renowned short lines—holds a remarkable place in history. Established in 1868 by the “Bank Crowd,” it served the Comstock mines by transporting goods to and from Virginia City and carrying precious ore to the mills along the Carson River. The railway’s construction posed significant challenges due to the region’s difficult terrain, but engineer Isaac James and the hard work of Chinese laborers made it possible.

From 1869 to 1872, the railway extended 21 miles from Virginia City to Carson City, and further construction connected the Comstock to the transcontinental Central Pacific Railroad. However, with the decline of mining in the late 1870s, the railway underwent transformations, reduced operations, and opened new routes.

Fast forward to the early 1990s, when V&T Railway enthusiasts partnered with local officials and the state to reconstruct this historic railway. After years of progress, the project gained momentum (and funding) in 2005. The reconstruction closely follows the original right-of-way, incorporating existing track sections and bridging gaps.

In 2019, the V&T Railway celebrated its 150th anniversary, showcasing the enduring legacy of this iconic landmark. (For any train enthusiasts and history buffs reading this, we have a deeper exploration of this railway’s history that you won’t want to miss.) 

It’s back in action for the season

As the snow starts to melt and the sun comes out to play, V&T Railway opens its doors and welcomes people on the trains again. Locals and visitors alike will enjoy reliving Nevada’s history via locomotive. All hail the rail! 

While the V&T Railway runs nearly every weekend from May to October, there are a few special events and routes you can enjoy throughout the season that put a twist on a typical train ride. 

Celebrate Mother’s Day by train

Flowers and breakfast in bed are nice, but we’ve got a way you can spice up this Mother’s Day: a unique experience touring northern Nevada via train—complete with free mimosas and delicious nibbles for Mom. During the weekend of May 13-14, the V&T Railway welcomes families to explore the mountains and valleys before stopping in Virginia City for brunch, shopping, and quality time together.

Not ready to leave tradition in the dust? No problem. There will be several booths onsite, so you can purchase bouquets and other gifts for Mom. 

Learn more about the Mother’s Day Train or, if you’re ready to go full steam ahead, purchase your tickets today!

The golden ticket

Did you know that Virginia City was once the richest city in the world? If you’re on the hunt for more nuggets of wisdom about the Comstock Bonanza, when the V&T was built, and Nevada’s mining history, you’ll definitely want to check out the Gold Hill ride that the V&T Railroad offers, a separate ride the begins in Virginia City instead of Carson City. This is a shorter trip of 35 minutes that goes on a separate rail line that allows travelers to step back in time—all the way to 1859. 

Save room for more

After your 3.5-hour train ride, you’ll need to refuel. Carson City has a variety of cuisines and dining experiences to meet your needs. See all of our food and drink options.

We also have plenty to offer for those who want to make this a longer weekend adventure. Check out our calendar to see events coming up around the time of your visit.