Nevada Northern Railway
National Historic Landmark      Ely, NV

Have you ever wondered what a view from the engineer's seat looks like?<br>Come find out this year.
Locomotive 40 and you - together today as you head up the mountain
The time has come! The student engineer is ready to head up the hill<br>toward Keystone under the supervision of our instructor engineer.
Heading up the mountain with you at the throttle.<br>It's nice up here, isn't it?
Two can share the Engineer experience
Make no mistake about it - Girls can operate steam locomotives too! <br><a href='http://youtube.com/watch?v=F2MCkLvj9YU&list=PL8jQ3mEYwLF8GXhn3Ux5-ncCHya-OwCvy' target='_blank' <em>Click here to see the interview with Engineer April</em>
Just returning from their run, a big thumbs up on this experience!
	<br><a href='http://youtube.com/watch?v=7R7pG5qRGpU&list=PL8jQ3mEYwLF8GXhn3Ux5-ncCHya-OwCvy&index=87' target='_blank' <em>Click here to view the complete interview</em>
Another couple returning from their run.
	<br><a href='http://youtube.com/watch?v=wQhQemWzlDg&list=PL8jQ3mEYwLF8GXhn3Ux5-ncCHya-OwCvy&index=86' target='_blank' <em>Click here to view the complete interview</em>
What is it really like in the cab of a large standard-gauge steam locomotive?
	<br><a href='http://youtube.com/watch?v=wQhQemWzlDg&list=PL8jQ3mEYwLF8GXhn3Ux5-ncCHya-OwCvy&index=86' target='_blank' <em>Click here to see the CabCam view</em>
Back from the trip. A renter from Germany (center)<br>surounded by the fireman(left) and instructor(right)
You are here, at the throttle of a real freight train
Whistle for that grade crossing           β€”  β€”  ΒΊ  β€”
<br>From now on, it will always be more than just a dream...you will have done it!
Pulling ore cars up and out of East Ely toward the Ruth Mine

Be the Engineer - Your hand on the Throttle

Run a Locomotive - Your Hand on the Throttle
This is something you are going to remember forever


Fast Facts

WHAT: You will be in control of one of the original Nevada Northern Railway locomotives, running it on the original mainline.

WHEN: By reservation, so make plans in advance. Generally weekends from May thru October

WHO: You can share the experience with another person. Both of you will be in the cab and take turns controlling the locomotive.

BRING: Work gloves, boots or sturdy shoes, long sleeve shirt. and pants made from 100% cotton or wool. 

HOW:
Purchase the STEAM experience
Purchase the DIESEL experience

Purchase STEAM Gift Certificate
Purchase DIESEL Gift Certificate

Sign on as a Nevada Northern Railway engineer for a day.  You (and a friend, if you like) will climb on board and experience what railroading was like in the last century - at the throttle of one of the original Nevada Northern STEAM locomotives.  Diesel experiences are also available.  Click here for details.

What to Expect

Begin your engineer experience by studying the safety training materials that our regular and volunteer crews learn from (download here).  There will be a test on the basics, but we are there to help you all the way through.  It is then time to head down to the century old Enginehouse and help prepare your locomotive for the day. Climb into the cab, and learn how to operate the iron horse. Your mentor engineer will show you the ropes as we move the locomotive out of the engine house and onto the original NNRY mainline.

It's then your turn!  Climb up into the engineer's seat and receive personal instructions from your mentor engineer on controlling the throttle and brake.  Once the basics are under your belt, the moment comes for you to sound the whistle, have your hand on the throttle, and head up the mainline toward the mines.  You will be going through two tunnels and climb over 2.5% grades.  Up toward the end of the line there is a wye.  We will turn the locomotive and head back down to Ely, gaining hands-on experience with controlling a locomotive on a mountain grade.  This is real standard-gauge main-line mountain railroading on America's best-preserved railroad.  You are at the throttle.  You are the engineer.  You are running a locomotive.

Options

There are several options available.  You can take control of one of the vintage steam locomotives, or one of the vintage diesel locomotives, or operate both.  Most people come and take the locomotive out without a train attached.   It is an easier way to start, and requires less training.   Taking the locomotive out with a complete train adds the additional skill of controlling a train on our mountain grades.  You may find that it is easier to get the train up a grade than to bring it safely back down.  Early in your trip you will begin to appreciate the genius of the Westinghouse Air Brake system, its complexities and limitations for mountain grades - especially on steam locomotives since they do not have dynamic brakes.   You will also learn the "technical" term for using up all of your braking capacity by applying and releasing your train brakes too often coming down the mountain grade.    

Labor Day Weekend

Steaming All Weekend Long!

Steam-powered wrecking crane
Watch the oldest operating steam-powered crane on any American railroad come to life, and do some really heavy lifting- Sunday 11am
Special Stamp Cancelations from the Original Nevada Northern Railway Post Office Car #20 - Sat 11am  and 3pm
The final run this year of the Steptoe Valley Flyer. The original locomotive 40, original passenger consist - Sat 4:30pm

So what are you waiting for?  You can have a hands-on experience with railroading in the last century.  Make your appointment with history. Use the calendar below to pick your date, or call and book your locomotive rental or train rental today at 1-866-40STEAM (1-866-407-8326).   You can operate a steam engine! You can drive a steam locomotive!

P.S. What would be a greater holiday, birthday, or special gift than being at the throttle of one of our engines for a real engineer experience?   You can buy an "open ticket" as a gift and select the exact date later.

Locomotive Rental Frequently Asked Questions.

NOTE: Participants must be able to climb up to the cab unassisted. Due to the harsh environment in locomotive cabs, no medical devices or assistance, such has oxygen, is possible. Engine availability is subject to a variety of both controlled and uncontrolled circumstances. Both steam locomotives are over a century old and even the "new" diesels are a half-century old. It is rare, but possible, that circumstances may require delays, substitutions, or rescheduling. Please contact us for details.

Prices and Discounts

Be the Engineer OptionsMemberNon-Member
Diesel Locomotive Only (mainline-McGill Jct. route;14 miles)$595$745
Steam Locomotive Only (mainline-Keystone route; 14 miles)$820$970
Ultimate Package - Steam & Diesel (Locomotives Only - 2 trips)$1345$1,545
Diesel Locomotive freight train (mainline-McGill Jct. route;14 miles)$1,370$1,570
Steam Locomotive freight train (mainline-Keystone route; 14 miles)$1,955$2,155
Ultimate Package - Steam & Diesel (Locomotives with trains - 2 trips)$2,995$3,295

The calendar below only shows STEAM Be The Engineer experiences.   Click here for Diesel experiences.
Hover over any available date to book your STEAM Be the Engineer experience now.

August 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
September 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30
October 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

If you still have a question about this program or the schedule click here

Be the Engineer / Locomotive Rental / Train Rental / Run a Locomotive

Comments from those who have done this (12)

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David (Laguna Beach CA, US) says...
My wife and I did this a few years ago. It was a great experience. She was not into steam locomotives much, and was not sure she wanted to run it with me. Now she talks about it all the time to her friends.

We were in Locomotive 93, and headed up toward the Ruth mine on a clear, bright Summer day. It is a day I will never forget.
3rd February 2014 9:46am
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