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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

 


Santa and the Nevada Northern Railway
06 December 2003

 

I was talking to Santa on last weeks Polar Express and the subject of Christmas gifts came up, imagine that. Anyway, I explained to Santa that there are two real benefits to shopping at the Nevada Northern Railway's Gift Shop this Christmas season. Santa, who has an advanced degree in gift giving from good old NPU (North Pole University) was intrigued and wanted to know just what those benefits were.

Well what I explained to Santa, is that all purchases from the Nevada Northern Railway Gift Shop support the restoration efforts of the museum. Purchases made there help keep coal in the tender of 93 (coal is another subject Santa knows a lot about, of course). The second advantage of shopping at the museum's gift shop is we don't charge sales tax because we are a non-profit organization. This saves you almost 8% on every purchase.

Santa was also surprised about the wide selection of gifts available there such as books on railroad history. A nice gift is The Central Pacific Railroad Across Nevada, 1868 & 1997: Photographic Comparatives by Lawrence K. Hersh. This hardcover book is a photo comparative of the now Union Pacific and the then Central Pacific. In 127 pages the author went across Nevada and located where Alfred A. Hart, Central Pacific photographer, made his photographs recording the Central Pacific in 1868. The author set his camera up to record the same views in 1997. There is a striking comparison in that some areas look the same today as they did 129 years ago.

For those who want to witness railroading up close, the gift shop offers three videos that are unique. The first is Running Steam Locomotives Volume II: Passenger Locomotive Road Operation. This video volume documents a completely detailed workday in the cab of Nevada Northern Railway locomotive No. 40. The day begins at sun-up as the hostler shows the viewer all about lubrication. Then "T.J." and Nick take No. 40 out over the road. In addition to No. 40, the video explores Pacific No. 2472 and Union Pacific Northern No. 8444. The next video is Thunder on the Rails by Skyfire. It takes you on a video journey to that legendary place in time, the Old West. You'll relive the adventure on two of the Old West's most famous railroads: the Virginia & Truckee and the Nevada Northern. This thrilling program puts you inside the cab next to the locomotive engineer. The last video covers the good old days here in White Pine County. Ore to Copper is actual footage of a 1930's film made of the early mining activity from the Ruth copper pits to the McGill mill and smelter in the Robison Mining District, White Pine County, Nevada. Produced as a silent film, narration has been added to explain the operation.

In addition to books and videos the gift shop carries a complete selection of items that have the Nevada Northern Railway's, Safety First logo on them. Included in this group are coffee cups, T-shirts, key rings, and hatpins. The gift shop also has a complete collection of Thomas the Tank Engine models and friends.

For that special someone on your shopping list, Santa was very surprised to learn to you can rent the museum's locomotives and put your hand on the throttle as the engineer. This very special program let's the renters take the steam locomotive up the hill to Keystone.

Lastly, Santa recommends that you purchase a membership in the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. There are different levels available from just a Basic membership to a Lifetime membership. Again membership in the museum shows your support of the Nevada Northern Railway.

Well by the time I had finished explaining all that was available in the gift shop, Santa was very impressed and told me that he would give the gift shop his highest rating, eight reindeer. After all, it is a very special place that helps save White Pine County's heritage, where purchases are tax free, has lots of gifts for the railfan on your list and allows the rental of a steam locomotive to every good girl and boy.

So come on down to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum's Gift Shop for all of the good girls and boys on your list. The gift shop can even help you with the bad girls and boys on your list; after all we have plenty of coal.

 

 

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All Rights Reserved - Page Last Updated 22 December 2003
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