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"At The Throttle"
by Mark Bassett, Executive Director

A weekly series of columns originally published in the Saturday edition of the Ely Times 
Mark Bassett is the Executive Director of the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation, operator of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. He can be reached at the museum (775) 289-2085 ext. 7 or e-mail: director@nnry.com

 


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
23 August 2003

 

Itís hard to believe but summer is almost over, the Labor Day weekend is just about upon us. For the railroad, it means another big push and a chance to have some fun. For Labor Day weekend we celebrate Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

The activities start on Saturday, August 30th at 9:00 am with a parade. But not any old parade, this parade will have airplanes in it. What so special about having a parade with airplanes in it, you might ask? Well these planes taxi the parade route and then take-off at the end of the parade. You canít see that in your big cities.

At 10:00 am the Ghost Train of Old Ely powered by steam locomotive 93 heads up the track towards Ruth for its first train excursion of the day. Step back in time and experience what it was like to travel by a steam-powered train. Upfront the fireman is shoveling coal, about 2,000 pounds of it, to make the run up the hill. The engineer is controlling the iron beast as it pulls its train up the hill.

Then at 1:00 pm, it is up the hill all over again. If you rode the 10:00 am train now is the perfect chance to chase the train up the hill and take pictures of Locomotive 93 as it makes it assault on the hill again. There are great photo spots as 93 exits the tunnel and runs parallel to Highway 50.

Meanwhile back at the depot, there is a silent auction going on that continues all day. Browse through the items and make your bid, check back often to insure that you are the high bid.

Also on the depot grounds will be a display from the Studebakerís Club of Salt Lake City, they are scheduled to arrive around 1:00 pm. They will display their unique autos and tracks through Sunday.

In addition around the depot will be craft booths and food. In the freight barn will be a model train expo and additional booths. At noon, there is a Civil Air Patrol rocket demonstration at the airport.

At 4:00 pm, the Ghost Train changes power. Locomotive 93 heads back to the barn and its replacement Locomotive 109 now leads the train as it heads towards McGill.

At 6:00 pm, the Ghost Train arrives back at the depot where you can check on your bids at the silent auction. Also at 6:00 pm, the ultra lights play a rather unique form of golf. They fly to their holes on the golf course. For those of you who have ever had a hankering to see what it is like to fly like a bird, now is your chance, and rides are available on the ultra lights.

At 6:30 pm, the silent auction closes and the high bidders claim their treasures. At 7:00 pm, a steak BBQ and street dance start at the depot to wrap up that dayís activities.

On Sunday, the engine crew shows up at 6:00 am to get Locomotive 93 ready for its assaults on the hill. You are invited to come down to the engine house and watch what it takes to get a steam locomotive ready for the day. Locomotive 93 heads out of the East Ely Depot at both 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. On the depot grounds there are craft booths and food. In the freight barn, there are the model trains. Meanwhile, the Ultra lights are flying around Ely and at noon there is another Civil Air Patrol rocket demonstration at the airport.

At 7:30 pm the last Wine Train of the season heads out of the East Ely Depot heading towards McGill. You will be able to watch the sun go down as you sip wine. As an extra bonus, ultra lights will most likely buzz the train.

Monday is the wrap up. At 8:00 am the ultra lights fly over Ely and at 10:00 am Locomotive 93 makes the last assault up the hill that weekend.

Labor Day weekend promise to be a great amount of fun. Plane rides, train rides, music, BBQ, and a unique parade make Ely the place to be Labor Day weekend.

 

Annual Auction Benefits the Nevada Northern Railway Museum

As our season starts to wind down, it time for our Rail Dayís Silent Auction that is part of the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles celebration in Ely during Labor Day weekend. The popular silent auction benefits the Nevada Northern Railway Museum; it is scheduled for August 30th. This fundraiser is one of the museumís major events during the year and we are asking for your help. Would you please consider making a donation of an item or service to the Museum that can be part of our silent auction? Any and all items are welcome. All items that are donated are appreciated and are tax deducible. Popular items in the past have included historic coins, railroad artifacts, motel rooms, meals, and artwork. You name it, and we auctioned it all off.

Funds from the auction will be used for the continuing restoration and maintenance of this unique Silver State treasure -- the Nevada Northern Railway.

All donors receive two passes to ride ďThe Ghost Train of Old ElyĒ good through the 2004 season. Please take a moment to consider donating something to the auction. If you have any questions, please contact us at (775) 289-2085 extension 5. All items must be at the museum by August 28th. If itís more convenient for you, one of our staff members or volunteers would be happy to pick up your donated item; just give us a call.

 

 

 

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All Rights Reserved - Page Last Updated 23 August 2003
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