Tours of the Nevada Northern Railway
Guided Walking Tour of the East Ely Yard Complex
You can walk back to a time when the iron horse ruled the rails. Today, the Nevada Northern Railway is the last of its kind - the sole survivor from a grand era of railroading in the Silver State.
Now a National Historic Landmark, it is America's best preserved short-line railroad and most complete rail facility still in existence.
Make sure to include the Guided Tour to get the full experience of the museum.
Your guided journey begins here...
After getting your tickets at the Depot, you step out of the station and onto the train platform take a moment to put yourself back 100 years. Think about what it would be like if you were one of the recent immigrants to Central Nevada. You might remember that it was only a few months ago that you first set foot in town onto this very platform. You completed the last hundred miles of your long journey in that very same railway coach sitting over across the yard today. You were pulled by the very same steam engine that is getting ready to pull the passenger train trip this afternoon.
Looking to the left you see the Freighthouse. This was a beehive of activity. It was the place where merchants rapidly growing town sent their wagons to pick up wares. Think of it as the 1910 version of Costco.
Beyond that, down by the Enginhouse you see the Railroad's original storehouse. There wasn't FedEx back then, so parts needed for the steam locomotives had better be in stock in that storehouse.
When parts had to be fabricated they would be made in the main shop, just to the right, with belt-driven lathes and drills that are all still there. Regularly locomotives would be pulled into the Enginehouse for a quick pit-stop-style maintenance, then dispatched back out on the line to haul more copper ore to help build the nation.
It's all still here, for you to explore.
Putting it all in Perspective
This was what it was like. This is how America was built. This is how copper was prepared for the industrial process, and how all of the people associated with this industry lived their lives. This story was replicated throughout the land. Ely produced copper. Other towns produced steal. Some produced coal. Some made valves, levers, chutes, blowers, timers, drills, cans, needles, pipes, cloth, or books.
Realistically, Ely was just a cog in the big picture of America's Industrial Strength. The only thing that makes Ely and the Nevada Northern Railway unique is that it was passed over and saved from the scrapping torch as this era came to an end since it was so remote. At first it was preserved by neglect. Now this treasure is preserved by conscious effort. So come, walk through history with us. Take a look around. This is exactly how it was.
Virtual Walking Tour of the Museum
Sign-up for a guided tour today!
The tours are available daily, you can find the tickets for the tours at the depot at 1100 Avenue A Ely, NV (at the end of E.11th Street, off of US 93) or purchase them online.
Also, don’t forget your sturdy walking shoes, hat and sunscreen.