Nevada Southern

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The Nevada Southern Railway is the operational arm of the Nevada State Railroad Museum at Boulder City.  The first public operation began in December, 2002.  The train operates over 4.2 miles of the original U.P. Boulder Branch that was built in 1931 to bring in material for the construction of Hoover Dam.   The train runs every Saturday & Sunday, except during January. Departure times are 10am, 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm.  

Equipment has been acquired and refurbished by the State both through purchase and donation.  Volunteers work to maintain and crew the train. The coaches were originally Harriman style cars built in the early 1900's.  Completely re-done, the cars now have air- conditioning and 480 volt head end power.  One car was made ADA compliant for wheelchair bound passengers. Another car was converted into a open-air car.

A couple views from the cab of 844 as we return from Railroad Pass to Boulder City, train in tow.
Click on image for  larger view.

A view from the "crow's nest" in the caboose 
as we make the 3 mile return run to
Boulder City, Sunday, February 11, 2007.
Ex - U.P. GP-30 844 on the point.
Click on image for larger view.

Motive power consists of four operational diesel-electrics.

Ex U.P. 844, GP-30 built in 1963 by EMD.
2,250hp turbo-charged V16 diesel.  

NSR #1000, class NW2, was
 built in 1939 by EMC as a 1,000
 horsepower demonstrator unit.
 It was purchased by U.P. as #889.

NSR #1855, a 1200hp Fairbanks-Morse
 opposed piston unit, was built in 1953.
 It served in the Army Transportation Corp.

Photo by John McCluskey

L3 is a 80 ton GE engine built in 1964 at Erie, Pa. 
for use on the Nevada Test Site. It was used to move
nuclear rocket engines to the testing stand over nine miles
of landlocked track called the "Jackass & Western." That program 
ended in the late sixties and the engine sat dormant for over
 35 years.  It had a "positive pressure cab" in case of a radiation 
accident the cab would prevent any outside air from entering. 
 We call it our "glow in the dark" engine! 

 Photo by Roger Himka 

Santa Train

The first two weekends of December are our annual Santa Train runs.  In 2007 all previous records were crushed!  Over 6,300 people were carried in the four days of operation!  Dan Markoff had his wood burning narrow gauge locomotive "Eureka" steamed up and operating on some panel track. Rides were given through the yard on the "Hooter Hauler," ole' #97 and the Toy Train Society (TTOS) had operating model layouts set up in the maintenance building.  A fun time was had by all!  2008 update: 2008 saw an even bigger increase - over 8,900 passengers carried in the two weekends of operation.  The museum relocated the ticket office in order to control the crowds better and also pre-sold 50% of the seats on each run. 

Santa Train approaches Railroad Pass with a full load of 275 passengers and Santa on the point!
Both photos: Dan Uhrich.

Click on image for larger view

Click on image for larger view

Click on image for larger view. Photo: Dan Uhrich.

Santa works his magic!

The caboose

 Ex-U.P. caboose 906255 has been restored for operation as a crew car.  Originally built as U.P. 25578 in November 1964, it was renumbered in early 1990 and retired in May 1990.   All the restoration work was performed  by the volunteers. Funding was provided by the Southern Nevada Chapter, National Railway Historical Society. The caboose has a new interior, HEP, lighting and air-conditioning. Let the good times roll!



If you live in the area and would like to get involved with restoration and/or operations, please come out and volunteer!  For further information check out the Friends of Nevada Southern website at

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