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HY-Rail Car Experience

Operate a HY-Rail Car, experience the Nevada Northern Railway through our Pontiac Fairmont Wagon Trip.

What is a HY-RAIL?

In 1956 the Nevada Northern Railway purchased a 1956 Pontiac Station Wagon from the Fairmont Motor Car company. At first glance, it looked like any other station wagon, but if you looked closely, you would see small railroad wheels under the car. These railroad wheels would allow the car to operate on the railroad tracks and on the state’s highways.

The way the HY-RAILERS worked was this: You drove the car to a railroad highway crossing. Block traffic and maneuver the car so it is on the track, then drop down the small railroad wheels onto the rail and lock them into place. Now you could drive down the track. Once you arrived at your destination, you went on to a railroad highway crossing, raised the railroad wheels and drove off down the highway. Needless to say, the HY-RAILERS were considerably more economical to operate than a train.

What to Expect

You can actually take the Nevada Northern Railway's restored Fairmont Hy-Rail car out on the original Mainline track. This vehicle began life as a very cool 1956 Pontiac Chieftain station wagon. Fairmont converted many of these American family cars into utility vehicles for America's railroads. Hy-Rail cars are equally at home on both highways and railroad tracks.

In this experience you will be there for the transition from road-to-rail and back again, and half of the trip on rail and half on highway.

The experience is round-trip from East Ely to Lane City. You will go out on the NNRY mainline through two tunnels and up 2% grades. We return to East Ely via highway on the "Loneliest Road in America', US 50. The entire experience covers about 10 miles and take about an hour.

hy rail car photo

Available Options

One option is for you and up to two other guests to ride while we drive. The other option is for you to operate with up to two guests along to enjoy the ride in the hy-rail car. Either way you will have a unique experience and also be doing your part to financially support the restoration and preservation that the Foundation is undertaking here.

We will start with an orientation showing you how, back in the day, Fairmont mounted a set of rail wheels to good old American station wagons, thus enabling them to also be rail utility vehicles. We will also demonstrate to you how the station wagon coverts itself into a rail vehicle. You and your party will be escorted by one of our staff members on this experience. You will be the only participants on this experience.

Available Dates and Tickets

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.

Hands On History Gift Certificates

Perfect for train enthusiasts or those seeking a unique gift, our gift certificates allow you or your loved ones to become a train engineer for a day. Whether it’s for a special occasion or just because, a railway experience is a fantastic way to create lasting memories. Command the rails and discover the excitement of rail travel with our hands-on adventures!

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Hours of Operation

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

Our Location

1100 Ave A, Ely, NV 89301

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