ReadyCleaning and Painting
I recently filled out a grant application; on it was a typical question. The question asked me to describe the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. I've answered this question many times but after my recent trip to Colorado riding on tourist trains, the question took on new meaning.
The short answer is that we are a fifty-six acre complex with fifty surviving buildings and structures of which forty-seven are historic. The Nevada Northern Railway rolling stock collection consists of three steam locomotives, eight diesel locomotives, a steam powered rotary snowplow, a steam powered wrecking crane, eight passenger cars, and over fifty fright cars. What makes the collection unique is that 99% of the collection is original to the Nevada Northern. Then there is the paper record. The paper records of the railroad include payroll records, employee records, building plans, and locomotive blueprints just to mention a few.
But this is not what the general public sees and perhaps if one of the more interesting challenges facing the museum. When the public comes to the museum, they see the trains and they especially want to see the steam locomotives. Because of this desire by the public, a majority of the museum's resources are channeled to keeping the steam locomotives operating. But it doesn't have to be this way, as pointed out by two of the museums volunteers--the Greens. The Greens live in Reno and spent a week in Ely volunteering at the museum. Where most of the volunteers want to work in train service, the Greens spend their time taking care of some of the smaller buildings. What follows is their story on their experience in Ely this past summer.
This past year the buildings of the museum are beginning to receive the attention that they deserve. The year started off with the Engineer's Building receiving a new roof. This roof will help preserve the structure. The McGill Depot received emergency repairs to its roof. In the near future, the building will receive a new roof and be made weather tight. The enginehouse/machine shop building continues to be the focus of an intense effort. Windows have been replaced, overhead doors repaired and the entire structure has been examined to develop a plan to stabilize the structure. Construction on the building will begin in the near future. The airbrake building's roof suffered wind damage this fall. Volunteers and staff members repaired it.
The coaling tower was cleaned out, made safe and is now being evaluated to see if it can be put back to service. The scale house was adopted by the Rotary Club and has received a new door and windows. It too will receive a coat of paint. Then there is the building the Greens painted. My personal favorite is the RIP building; over 600 windows were repaired recently. The building now goes from looking abandoned to useful. Of course, with any project, there is an upside and a downside. The new windows really point out how dirty the original windows are. If you know of someone who does windows, send them our way.
Last year the Ely
Lions Club cleaned up and painted the car inspector's building that
is on the east side of the yard. This was the first building painted
after I became Executive Director. There are plenty of other buildings
that need to be scrapped and painted. If you're looking for a project,
we have plenty. With the Centennial Celebration scheduled for September
2006, there is a lot of work that needs to be done, come join us.
Call Us 1-866-40STEAM or 1-866-407-8326
Copyright © 2004 Nevada Northern
Railway - Ely, Nevada