WHO: Dirt the Cat was the Official Mascot of the Nevada Northern Railway up until his passing in January 2023. His nickname is "King of the Shop."
WHY: Because Dirt carried out his role as official greeter and mascot in such a regal way. He was regularly there to greet visitors.
It is with a very heavy heart that we report Dirt, our Boss Shop Cat, passed away January 11, 2023. He was 15 years old, and beloved by everyone here at the railroad and around the world.
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. 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 became very familiar routine in the shop. He fit right into the work being done here, and seemed to want to keep an eye on it all.
Dirt was 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 was his home, and all that he really knew. He just loved the attention from his 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 carried out his role as official greeter and mascot in such a regal way.
You can come to Ely Nevada and visit the Nevada Northern Railway. Dirt Jr., the new mascot, is still 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.
We still have a stock of Dirt Coffee Mug, T-shirt. Magnet and more in the General Store . Click here for details.
We are planning to put a tombstone with a bronze statue on Dirt's final resting place, which is within a short walk from the main depot. Stay tune for details.
We appreciate all of the heartfelt affection that has been extended to Dirt from around the world. We were very lucky to have Dirt as our official ambassador. We will continue the special fund for those of you who would like to contribute in memory of Dirt the Cat. Contributions in any amount are always welcome. We are an independent non-profit 501(c)3 historic foundation that maintains and operates this wonderful slice of history through the support of fans like you.