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Interim Director Appointed  
18 December 2001  

Scott Lindsay has been named the interim Director of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. Mr. Lindsay has been the museum's steam engine consultant since 1995 and is employed by Steam Operations Corporation of Birmingham, AL.

The appointment was made by the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation Board of Trustees on 13 December 2001. The board is made up of the Ely City Council. The City of Ely owns the railroad museum.

From the Ely Daily Times Online News, 18 December 2001

   
   
Interim Director Nominated  
10 December 2001  

The NNRy board of directors has nominated Scout Lindsay, a consultant with Steam Operations Corporation of Birmingham, AL, to be the interim director of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. The foundation trustees are to approve that decision at city council meeting on 13 December 2001.

Most recently, Lindsay has overseen the rebuilding of engine No. 93 to comply with the new Federal Railroad Administration safety standards. That work, begun in January 2001, should be completed in December. No. 93 and two passenger coaches will then be trucked to Heber City, UT to help haul passengers to some of the 2002 Winter Olympic events, which start Feb. 8.

From the Ely Daily Times Online News, 10 December 2001

   
   
Career Opportunity  
September 2001  

"Applications for Executive Director of the NNRy are being taken by Nevada Job Link Office, 480 Campton St., Ely, NV 89301" or telephone: (775) 289-1616. Refer to position NV0052961.

Ghost Tracks--Official Newsletter of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum; Autumn, 2001.

   
   
Economic Development Studies  
20 August 2001  
The Ely Daily Times Online News reports that a $55,000 Community Development Block Grant has been awarded to conduct a feasibility study and develop a business plan to operate the ex-Nevada Northern Railway as a freight hauler. R.L. Banks & Associates will conduct the study that must be ready for submission to the federal Economic Development Administration by 01 October.

The EDA is also funding an engineering and environmental review of the project. They will use the results of these studies to determine if they will provide funds for the city to purchase and renovate the tracks and ROW from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

   
   
Museum Woes  
13 August 2001  
The Ely Daily Times Online News reports that Nevada Northern Railway Museum Director Ken Dailey submitted his resignation to the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation on 09 August 2001.

They also reported that railway museum auditor Robert Moore is concerned that cash may be depleted by the end of the current fiscal year and there will not be money left for operations if new sources of revenue are not found.

Jay Barrett, chairperson of the WPHRF trustees board noted that previous studies indicate that without new funding the steam excursions will cease within two years.

   

 

Winter Olympics "Steam Team" Expands with Addition of Nevada Northern Ry

   

NEVADA NORTHERN RAILWAY
HISTORICAL OPERATING MUSEUM

P.O. Box 150040, East Ely, NV 89315                 Phone (775) 289-2085

 

NEWS RELEASE — 18 July 2001

The Heber Valley (UT) Railroad and the Nevada Northern Railway have united to form the 2002 International Winter Steam Team. Representatives from both railroads are currently making plans to move the NNRy ALCO #93 locomotive of 1909 vintage, and two coaches to Heber City, Utah to participate in the 2002 Winter Olympics. The move will mean that three locomotives representing railroad history from three different states will move passengers to and from Soldier Hollow, site of the 2002 Cross Country and Biathlon events.

For the first time in Olympic history, a tourist railroad will move passengers into and out of an official Olympic venue. An estimated ten to twenty thousand spectators will enter the Olympic venue daily during the 16-day event.

 

Engine 93 at East Ely
Copyright 2000-2002 Keith Albrandt

Alco 2-8-0 No. 93 at the East Ely yards preparing to take Nevada Northern Railway Museum visitors on an excursion up the Keystone route on 20 June 1999.


Having the Nevada Northern Railway Train-set operate on the Heber Valley Railroad during the games will increase the number of passengers that will be able to ride the train to and from the venue from 500 to more than 700 passengers per day.

Soldier Hollow is located along the right of way of the Heber Valley Railroad approximately 4 miles from the Heber Depot. Steam powered passenger trains will operate daily during the Olympic Events. Trains are projected to operate from 7:00 a.m. and in some cases will operate on special charters and extra moves until 11:00 p.m.

Getting the NNRy #93 and two coaches to Heber will be a real event in and of itself. "We have a lot of work to do on the 93 before we can begin to think about moving the engine," explains Lance Hunt, Chief Mechanical Office of the NNRy. "We are working hard to complete the 'new steam rule' work on the engine. This includes new boiler tubes and flues, a full ultrasonic review of the boiler and the list goes on and on," explains Hunt. "Just getting the engine ready to go and back on the road will require some real team effort."

The Heber Valley Railroad is also working hard to prepare for the Winter Games. For the past year, representatives of the Heber Valley Railroad have been participating in many Olympic Planning meetings as well as a number of Federal Railroad Administration planning meetings. John E. Rimmasch, Chief Mechanical Officer explains that there is more to the Olympic event than simply running trains. "We are currently working with state, federal, and local authorities, both in and out of the railroad industry to make sure that we have what we need to make this event a real success." Aside from all of the meetings and planning, there is still a lot of work to be done on locomotives, cars, and the right-of-way to make this event a real success. "The games are no longer years away - we only have six more months to finish up much of the work. It will take a real team effort to pull this off."

"Participating in this event will give the Nevada Northern Railway world wide exposure." says Ken Dailey, Executive Director of the NNRy. "We mustn't let this opportunity pass us by." Craig H. Lacey, Executive Director of the HVRR is also excited about the prospect of having additional equipment for the Winter Games. "It is exciting to see two tourist type railroads work together. Besides being the first tourist type railroad to participate in an Olympic event, we are now working with a second tourist railroad to make the event even better. It says a lot for the management of both railroads." "Working together, we will really put on world class steam show during the Games."

Lance Hunt and John E. Rimmasch feel that this steam event will far surpass any winter steam event ever staged. "We will have a hand full of our own operating crew members and shop staff at the Heber Valley Railroad working with the operating and shop crews of the Nevada Northern Railroad. How many times has anyone seen two railroads work this close together on one event?" explained Hunt. "Three steam engines, 16 miles of track, more than 16 days of operation, two railroads and crew members from all over the world - what could be better?", said Rimmasch. "Ultimate steam railroading at its best," explained the two men!

The railroads agree that this will be a steam event to remember. The Directing Boards of each organization feel that this event will put both railroads on the map. "Tourist railroads seldom have a chance to expose themselves to so many people at one time," says Craig H. Lacey. "This is a real opportunity for both railroads to gain world wide exposure."

Coincidentally, the NNRy equipment will travel on U.S. hwy. #93 as it travels to Utah. "We expect the move to take three to five days all things considered." Says Rimmasch. "Besides having the 93 ready for the games, we also need to prepare the engine and the cars to be moved by truck," explains Hunt. "After we test run the engine after retubing, we will have to tear it back down and prepare it for the move. We hope to be ready to move by the end of December."

Rimmasch explains that there are many reasons for moving the locomotive and cars to Heber nearly one month before the games. "Once the equipment is here, we need to put it back together, test run it and then take care of any little problems that may arise as a result of the move. It would be foolish to wait until the last minute to move the equipment over."

Besides using HVRR and NNRy equipment for the games, it is also hoped that the Olympic Torch will take a train ride. The torch is scheduled to run through Heber Valley prior to the Games. In the event that the torch gets onto the train, all three locomotives will power a triple header.

NNRy officials hope to have #93 and the cars back to Ely in March 2002 for scheduled charter runs in early April.

Getting the locomotives and cars to and from Heber Valley RR will take a considerable amount of money. "We are asking interested parties to donate to this project" said Ken Dailey. "We estimate that the move will cost $20,000 to $40,000 round trip. For a small nonprofit railroad foundation, this is a lot of money. Sponsorship and ad space will be available inside the coaches and outside space will be available for the move over and back. We're asking potential sponsors and all-around railfans, that you send your donations to the NNRy Olympic 2002 Fund, P.O. Box 150040, E. Ely, NV 89315.

Money is not the only thing needed to make this work. Both railroads are presently seeking additional volunteers to assist in preparing the HVRR and the NNRy for this world class event. Rimmasch and Hunt agree it will take many small teams to pull this off. Though each railroad has some very dedicated team members, more are always welcome. For more information on volunteering at either railroad, call Heber Valley RR at 435/654-5601 or Nevada Northern Railway Museum at 775/289-2085.

 


   
   

White Pine Power Project

 
17 July 2001  

The Ely Daily Times Online News reports that Pacific Gas and Electric, National Energy Group is exploring the feasibility of constructing a 1,000 megawatt, coal-fired power plant in White Pine County. The proposal is still in an exploratory phase and could take up to five years to become operational.

Coal for the proposed facility would be shipped to the site from Utah and Wyoming via a rail line from Shafter in Elko County.

   
   

NNRy ROW For Sale

 
28 June 2001  

Progressive Railroading reports that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power plans to sell the 128 miles of ex-NN track between McGill Junction and Cobre, NV. LADWP purchased the right-of-way in 1987 as part of their plan to build a coal-fired power plant along the route. These plans never materialized and they are now interested in disposing of the railway line.

Requests for proposals will be distributed to interested parties beginning 01 August 2001.

   
   

Ghost Train to be Mothballed?

 
27 June 2001  

The near term fate of Nevada Northern ten-wheeler No. 40 (The Ghost Train) recently received a severe blow with the failure of the Nevada State Legislature to appropriate funds. The gaming provision of state assembly bill 448, allowing certain games of chance to be conducted on tourist railroads, was passed but gutted of its funding provisions. Not even 2 was allocated to bring the museum's steam locomotives into compliance with new FRA regulations or to purchase the tracks reconnecting Ely with the UP interchange at Shafter, a prerequisite to make a specialty train a reality.

Up to $800,000 will be required for re-tubing and certifying that steamers No. 40 and No. 93 meet new FRA regulations. The completion of the work on loco No. 93 (together with restoration of coach No. 5) will exhaust the museum's cash reserves. Consequently, unless additional funds are forthcoming the Ghost Train may be "stuffed and mounted" — placed in a static display.

Funds requested as part of the assembly bill would also have been used to purchase (and upgrade) the NN tracks from McGill Junction to Cobre from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The news doesn't get any better by learning that the NN Railway Museum has been forced to suspend revenue-generating commercial projects because LADWP is showing "little interest" in allowing the Foundation to use their tracks.

Results of the Museum's grant application to the Federal Economic Development Administration may be known in July (see Mar 2001 news item below). The grant decision will certainly decide the near term fate of engine No. 40. Given the local economic conditions since BHP closed their mining operations two years ago, the development grant may also have a significant impact on the future of the Foundation and community as a whole.

Information on becomming part of the solution with a Museum membership or donation can be found on the NN Railway Museum website.

   
   

Economic Development Grant

 
Mar 2001  

"The local office of Economic Developmnet announces that the U.S. Economic Developmnet Administration has invited a full-blown grant application for the City of Ely to acquire the tracks and right-of-way from McGill Jct. to the interchange with Union Pacific RR at Shafter. The 1.2 million dollar grant would allow $700,000 for purchase of the tracks from Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power and the remainder would be spent on track upgrades. Some news may be forthcoming by June."

Source: "Bits and Pieces." Spring 2001. Ghost Tracks - Official Newsletter of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. p. 7. (Used with permission) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last modified 16 January, 2004 by Keith Albrandt