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Museum Projects and Work Weekends

We are planning something new for 2003, work weekends. These are weekends devoted to cleaning up and preserving the museum property. The idea here is to expand from the tradition of just operating trains; but to actually preserve and maintain the property. There are three work weekends planned for 2003 to carry out the 2003 theme at the museum. This year’s theme is inventory, cleanup and paint. Sounds simple doesn’t it.

Volunteer leaders are needed for all three weekends. As a volunteer leader you will coordinate with the museum staff and the volunteers to make sure the work gets done; that all of the supplies & equipment needed is available; and that everyone has something to do. The work weekends are Memorial Day Weekend, 4th of July Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. 

The big push for this year is to paint. If it’s in the yard; be it equipment or buildings it is getting a coat of paint. The plan is to start with the buildings and select pieces of equipment. With our centennial coming up in 2½ years, all of the buildings need to get a coat of red paint with the white accent trim. If the windows are boarded up, the covering also gets painted. We also need a window crew who can repair the windows on the property. Are there volunteers out there?

In addition to getting the buildings painted the entire yard needs to be cleaned up and all vegetation removed. When the property was given to the city and the foundation there were no weeds, sagebrush or any other greenery on the property. We need to go back to this appearance. After the yard is completed then we will need to move out and do the right-of-way. Once all of the vegetation is gone then the soil will need to be sterilized to keep it looking historically accurate.

In addition to painting the buildings, roofs need to be repaired on select buildings. These buildings are all storing something and we need to keep it out of the weather. There is a saying in historic preservation, once the roof goes the walls are soon to follow.

Our rolling stock needs to be repaired and painted. Some of the museum collection needs heavy repairs, which are beyond our current recourses. But there are a surprising number of pieces that with a minimal amount of work can be repaired, painted, lettered, and put into service looking like they should.

Prime examples are the tank car, a couple of ballast cars, Caboose 3 and locomotive 204. All the tank car needs is to be sanded, primed and painted. The ballast cars need some boards replaced, and then they need to be sanded, primed, painted, air brake equipment checked, and trucks serviced. Caboose 3 needs a little work on the car body, and then it needs to be cleaned, sanded and painted. The interesting question here is what color? It’s yellow now, but I bet it was red when it was delivered. So do we paint it red?

Locomotive 204 came to the museum from BHP. It is a SD-9. One of the original diesels on the Nevada Northern was SD-7 number 401. One proposal is to sand, prime and paint 204 as Nevada Northern Railway 402. Research will need to be done to get the original lettering scheme for each piece of equipment.

In addition to cleaning and painting we need to inventory what we have. All of the buildings and equipment need to be photographed, a value assigned, documented, evaluated for needs, and put into a database.

Sounds like an exciting summer. If you want to be volunteer leader please contact the Museum as soon as possible. If you can attend the volunteer weekends please contact Judy Smith and let her know what days you will be coming and what preferences you might have.

Please keep in mind that you can work on projects at the museum at anytime. These special weekends are designed to maximize the volunteer efforts with the pressing needs of the museum.

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

Our Location

1100 Ave A, Ely, NV 89301

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