Nevada Northern Railway
National Historic Landmark      Ely, NV

Dirt the Cat - King of the NNRY Locomotive Overhaul Facility
When the film crew for the movie Poderoso Victoria were here<br>they captured this great still of Dirt while filming
Dirt the Cat doing what he does best<br>Personally greeting visitors to the main workshop
Dirt usually keeps watch over all locomotive arrivals and departures<br>This is what he has grown up with so the noise does not phase him a bit
Dirt taking a break on the floor of the shop<br>Lov'n the feel of that nice, cool concrete

Dirt the Cat

Official Mascot and Greeter of the Nevada Northern Railway

 In 2008 Dirt was born here, in the main locomotive repair shop, under one of our historic steam locomotives. He was shy little kitty who looked for nooks and crannies in the shop to hid in.  The shop staff became attached to the little guy.  Both the shop staff and the locomotive crews always liked to have him hang around the shop with them as they went about their tasks.  With a can of Tuna here and there, and some attention every so often he fit right in to the rest of the routine in the shop. 

Now days, Dirt is almost always front-and-center to great our museum guest and tours. He also loves to greet the locomotives as they return to the shop after a day of work out on the line.  He is unflustered by the routine noises in the shop as the machinery operates.  The shop has been his home, and all that he really knows.  He just loves the attention from his fans and now has fans all over the world!

Dirt got his name because loves to roll in the Dirt in the back rooms of the engine house.   He got his title, King of the Shop, because he carries out his role as official greeter and mascot in such a regal way.   As you will see when you visit, he clearly sees himself as being the center of activity in the shop. 

You can meet Dirt, here in Ely Nevada by visiting the Nevada Northern Railway. Dirt, King of the Shop, is almost always is holding court in the main locomotive overhaul shop of the Nevada Northern Railway.  While your at it, come take a train ride!  A guided tour of the main yards and shop is included in the cost of the train ticket.

Got Dirt? Visit our online stores for your very own Dirt Coffee Mug, T-shirt. Magnet and more .  Click here for details.

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Comments (6)

Susan Ritchie (Ligonier, Indiana, US) says...

We need Dirt face masks! Bet they would be a good seller!

Scott (Boonville, Missouri, US) says...

Initially learned of Dirt a year or two ago via photos posted to Railpictures dot net then just today got notification of You Tube video featuring him by channel Toy Man Television. Way back in 1980s I wrote a short story about a fictional short line which had a cat named Fred (Feline rodent elimination device) who lived in the engine shed and liked to ride along on the RR's secondhand GP9 but my friends said that was totally unrealistic because cats would never put up with the loud noises. Well, it would now appear that there's "never" and then there's the Nevada Northern ... :) Anyway, say Hey to Dirt from the two orange tabby rescues who live with me. Would be nice if my health and income allowed for a trip to the NN to see the outfit and to visit Dirt, but, hey, I am thankful to have the internet which offers virtual visits.


Scott, thanks for your note. Yes, Dirt is very used to all that goes on in the engine house.  He seems to be able to tell one sound from another.  He is often on-hand we welcome the locomotives back into the engine house at the end of the day.   The noise does not phase him one bit.   

Randall Hawkinson (Salinas, California, US) says...

Glenn already said what I was thinking about. A Dirt Calendar would take up a prominent position in the railroad room. Thanks to Dale and Karyn Angell, I got to meet Dirt on their Toy Man Television post this morning (Sunday 11-17-2019).

Glenn Draper (Long Beach, California, US) says...

Y'all need to put out a Dirt calendar, please. Then we could enjoy him all year long.


Thanks for the suggestion.  Please stay tuned.  We are putting together next year's calendar.  It will soon be available in our online general store (see GIFT tab on the main menu bar)

Steve (Rocky Point, New York, US) says...

Being a cat lover, I enjoyed your article about Dirt. One of our cats, the late Sadie, liked to sit on the bookcase in my layout room and watch the train run. She never got on the layout, just sat there and watched. Please give Dirt a pat from me and from Brownie, Daddy, Madam, and Golden Rocket, our three.

Susan Hathiramani (Annaheim, Saskatchewan, Canada) says...

I always enjoy your posts about "Dirt"! I would love to meet him.


Thanks for your note all the way from Saskatchewan.  It is true that Dirt has a lot of friends all over the world.  We hope to see you down this way sometime to see Dirt in person.