Nevada Northern Railway
National Historic Landmark     Ely, NV 

Ride Back In Time

Spend an hour or two back in the early 1900's

Fast Facts

WHAT: Our most popular ride, lasting approximately 90 minutes.

WHERE: Depart East Ely, NV and ride up toward the Ruth Mine. Travel through two tunnels and up real mountain grades.

WHEN: Steam every weekend mid-April through mid-October. Diesel other times.  Check schedule below.

DONT MISS: Complementary tour of the original shops and grounds after the train ride.

Click here to view schedule and buy tickets now

Special Event Trains

WHAT: In addition to the regular 90 minute excursions, check out our evening and special event trains.

WHEN: Often on Saturday evenings in the summer.  Also, seasonal Haunted Ghost Trains and Polar Express Trains

MORE INFORMATION: These special trains are also listed on the calendar below.

Click here for all the details on our special trains

Join us for a trip back in time when the iron horse ruled the rails.  The Nevada Northern Railway is a living, breathing, operating historic railroad.  Sometimes it's gritty, sometimes it's dirty, and sometimes it smells of coal smoke, creosote and sweat.  Steam engines whistle off, cars clang as they are coupled together and wheels squeal as the locomotive is turned on the wye.  It is real.

What to expect:

You will depart from our East Ely, NV depot, as our trains have done for a century now.  Most of our trips head up toward the Ruth Copper Mining District.   You will go through two tunnels and up real mountain grades.   Each trip takes about 90 minutes, up and back. 

You will have your choice of coach or open-air seating, or feel free to roam between the two.   A hat and sunscreen are advisable for the open-air car.   Bring a jacket along for the evening trips.  We are over a mile high in elevation, so weather is sometimes unpredictable.   It rains several times each week in the Summer and we have had snow on Memorial Day.  All trains operate on-time regardless of the weather, as they have for over a century.

One of our Steam engines is scheduled to pull the train on weekends mid-April through mid-October. One of the vintage diesels are scheduled at other times.    Just hover over the date you are interested in the calendar below, and you will see the specifics of what is scheduled. 

Every so often out in these parts of the West, trains get held up by a band of outlaws.  We have done our darndest to try and figure out when this might happen, and have indicated it in the schedule below.  If you see the word "Robbery" on title of the event you hover over, then this is one of those trains that just might get held up.   Some of the robbers have an uncanny resemblance to outstanding citizens of the community here, so don't be too alarmed.  Those GhostRiders, as they call themselves, are volunteers that do lots of good 'round these here parts.    

It is extremely rare, but possible, that we may need to alter schedule, equipment, or routing due to the historical nature of our operations. Our actual on-time departure record is much better than any major airline, but admittedly our equipment is a bit older than many of them operate.   You need to be at the depot 30 minutes before the published departure time.

Restrooms as well as snacks and beverages are available at the concession stand in the coaches during your trip.  Sorry, pets aren't allowed on trains or on the tours. This is an industrial site that may have some grease, oil, or material fragments that are incompatible with your pet's paws.  Service animals are always welcome, but please take necessary precautions. 


At the end of most morning trips you can join a complementary narrated walking tour of the enginehouse and Main Yard.  On the return trip, the train can let you off at the original enginehouse to begin your complementary "backstage" tour.  Your tour will end at the depot where you parked your car. It is a great way to see how a real short-line American railroad maintained itself in the mid 1900's. Sturdy shoes are suggested for the tour.

There are two upgrade options available for your trip. Instead of riding in the regular coaches, consider:

These option often sell-out in advance, and are not available on every trip, so we suggest you book them early using the calendar below, on this page.  The extra fare for these options is a great way to show your support for the museum and the restoration/preservation work that goes on here.   Of course, members earn their discount on these options as well.

Note that riding up in the cab with the engineer has age and clothing requirements discussed here

Check out the complete schedule and buy your tickets here, or give us a call at (866) 407-8326 or (775) 289-2085.

Prices and Discounts

2015 Ticket Prices
2015 Ticket PricesAdultChild(4-12)Infant (not yet 4)2nd Train Ride
Train Ride and Guided Tour of Yard + Enginehouse$27 $16 Free1/2 Price
Guided Tour of Yard + Enginehouse$10 $6 FreeN/A
Museum Admission (Self-guided walking tour)$6 $3 FreeN/A
Ride with the Engineer (Cab Ride)$135 n/a n/a1/2 Price
Ride in the Caboose$37 $27 Free1/2 Price
Annual Pass$59 $29

Members receive discounts. Memberships start at $30

Hover over any available date to book your Ride Back in Time now.

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Comments (5)

Topic: trainride
5/5 (5)
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Wayne L Hall (Kitchener) says...
Rode it last year for first time, great trip, loved ringing the bell, enjoyed the cab ride, outstanding, coming to California for UPHS convention in 2016 & planning to ride some more. Volunteer on tourist train here as conductor/train manager, also have steam but loved the NN, see you in 2016.
22nd July 2015 10:23am
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Kurt (Saskatchewan Canada) says...
I was in Ely for a few days and rode on the excursion trains a few times. They are excellent to ride on; would highly recommend. I appreciate the enormous effort that Mark Bassett and his entire crew do to make riding these trains and touring this 100% historic site still possible.
Thanks for your note.  We will pass your kind words on to Mark.
8th June 2015 9:57am
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Alberto José Hurtado (Florida) says...
Got to go there and ride one of those steam they bring me back unforgettable memories of my youth along my parents in Colombia.....
21st May 2015 11:36am
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Ted (US) says...
I had a chance to ride the rails this past Saturday. Would just like to pass on a well done to all of the staff in the office and on the train itself. Had a nice journey and to top it off the trip with Mark into the buildings was outstanding. Kudo's to him as his presentation was outstanding and "fresh" which is hard to do after the thousands of trips he's probably been there. Thanks for a nice afternoonno comments
17th April 2015 3:21pm
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Videoray (Portland Oregon, US) says...
I was in town and lucked into the locals train tour. I am not a local so I bought the ticket, what a ball! Great tour, fun run, nice folks. One of the best \"lucky day\" experiences ever. I remember steam trains as a kid. Restoration is so limited in scope-this is rebirth-steam engines are alive! 100% recommend the tour/ride/Ely. While you are the area check the bee hive ovens to the south. Another major bit of history. Again, thanks to everyone for the wonderful experience.
9th October 2014 12:38pm
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