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Photo of the Ely Yard at night

About the
Nevada Northern Railway

Since 1906, the Northern Nevada Railway has been a logistics hub. Today a vibrant museum experience that takes you inside the inner workings of a railyard.

photo of locomotive #40

Our History

1941 photo

1941

Passenger Service Ends

The last run of the Steptoe Valley Flyer ran July 31, 1941 to be replaced by bus service. Locomotive #40 and the cars were placed in reserve service, then retired.

1956

50th Anniversary

The 50 th Anniversary of the railroad was celebrated in September 1956. Locomotive #40 and the passenger cars were pulled out of retirement and used for the celebration. Soon after this equipment began a second life hauling passenger excursions along the NNRY.

1956 photo
1983 photo

1983

Railroad Closes

In 1983 the railroad ran its last train. Citizens of the town concerned with the economic impacts of the loss of mining and the railroad approached Kennecott with the intent to acquire the railroad and open it as a tourist operation. Though a series of donations the Nevada Northern Railway Museum was formed.

1987

First Steam Powered Excursion

The first steam powered passenger excursion left the East Ely Depot Memorial Day weekend 1987 pulled by locomotive #40.

1993

#93 Returns to Service

Locomotive #93 pulls its first passenger excursion.

photo of the front of the NNRY depot

2006

National Historic Landmark

In 2006, the East Ely Yard National Historic Landmark is designated by the Department of the Interior recognizing the railroad’s contribution to the preservation of turn-of-the- century steam railroading.

2021

#81 Returns to Service

Locomotive #81 pulls its first passenger excursion.

2022

35 Years and Still Steamin’

The museum celebrates 35 years of steam powered passenger excursions.

group photo of the NNRY team
photo of the NNRY team in 1930s

Meet Our Team

Our program is unusual, we use paid staff coupled with volunteers to create a team that operates and preserves the equipment and buildings of this National Historic Landmark. With over 20 paid staff and over 130 volunteers on the roster the NNRy operates hundreds of trains every year, completed restoration projects on locomotives, rolling stock and buildings, preserves the archive material and artifacts and acts as an ambassador for historic steam railroading.

Volunteers join us from all over the U.S. and Canada and are an integral part of what makes the NNRy an American treasure. Join the team that makes history happen.

Our Awards

tripadvisor award logo
tripadvisor award logo

Our Official Ambassador

Even though our official ambassador Dirt The Cat passed away recently, he will always be the King of the Shop and live in our hearts forever!

How to Find the Museum?

Getting to Ely can be a great journey. Nestled in the mountains of Central Nevada, it's a place that not many people ever get to.

The "Loneliest Highway in America" passes right through Ely.

Ely has an airport with a great all-weather runway that can easily accommodate a 737. As of the last update to this webpage commercial air service has been suspended. If you have your own airplane (or a good friend that does) make Ely your destination. Car rental is available in Ely or transportation from and to your hotel and the railroad can be arranged. Give us a call at 866-407-8326.
Either the Las Vegas or Salt Lake City airports are about 245 miles from Ely. It is about a three and a half hour drive through some great, rural Inter-Mountain West scenery. Reno is another option. It is about 300 miles. Elko, NV is the closest airport with scheduled flights. See? We warned you that this place is really, really remote….. but so worth the trip.
That would have been us, the Nevada Northern Railway, 80 or even 100 years ago. Every single day of the year, rain or shine, wind or snow, we would have several passenger coaches and locomotive #40, with her tender completely full of coal, spotted right here at our East Ely Depot, ready for the 260-mile round-trip up to the transcontinental connection points and back. Fortunately, that depot, Locomotive 40, and her original passenger coaches are still in active service here, but for shorter trips. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

By the way, your membership could help maintain locomotive #40 and her original passenger consist to possibly make the long trip again someday. That is our goal, and we would love to have you join us. Memberships start at only $30.

This is the favorite way to get here. The trip can be a fun vacation with new things to see along the way.

Coming from California and Arizona: Click here to view and print a full-size version of our treasure map of Central Nevada, with lots of ideas for what to see on your way here.

Coming from the East: We have a full page of ideas for picking up the Golden Spike Road trip on your way here.

If you are coming in from the east or west on US 50, “The Loneliest Highway” you can take this quick video tour from Travel Nevada.

Want to get in on the Action?

Help the museum while also having fun.

Interested in visiting the museum?

Explore our train rides, get your tickets online and enjoy the experience

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Hours of Operation

Monday - Saturday | 8AM - 5PM
Sunday | 8AM - 4PM

Our Location

1100 Ave A, Ely, NV 89301

Become a Member and Save!

Members get discounts on admissions, experiences, trains, tours, gifts and more.