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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.

Ticket Prices:
$18 for Adults  |   $15 Seniors   |   $9 Children (4-12)   |   Under 4 is FREE

group of people enjoying the NNRY train rides
the Ely Yard

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.

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Safety First

You are welcome to experience this firsthand by exploring the railway. Before you start your explorations, take a look at the historic logo of the Nevada Northern Railway. Prominent on the logo is the motto of the railroad—Safety First. There is a reason for the motto: railroading is dangerous. A moment's inattention can cause serious injuries or death. At one time railroading was the most dangerous occupation in the country. You are welcome to explore what is the best-preserved, standard gauge, short line railroad left in America. As you explore the complex, please remember Safety First, and these common-sense rules:

1. Do not park or walk on any track, or closer than six feet to any track.

2. When a train approaches, carefully move away, hold hands with your children, make eye contact with the crew to let them know you are ready to be safe as they pass.

3. Do not climb on any of the equipment.

4. Look both ways each time you crossing a track; a train could be moving on any track, at any time, and in either direction.

5. Do not enter any of the railway buildings unless museum personnel are present.

6. Do not pick up, move, or collect any artifacts (natural or man-made) that are scattered throughout the grounds.

7. There is no smoking allowed on the railway equipment or grounds except in designated smoking areas.

8. Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes and clothing that doesn't mind getting a little dirty. This is a real, working railway, so expect to see some oil, dirt, grease, and soot as you explore.

9. Pets are not allowed on trains or on the tours. The railway is an industrial site that may have some grease, oil, or material fragments that are incompatible with your pet's paws. Service animals and their owners are always welcome. We recommend that you protect your service animal appropriately for an industrial setting.

10. If you have a question, just ask any of the staff or volunteers.

11. Enjoy yourself as you step back in time!

Hours of Operation

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

Our Location

1100 Ave A, Ely, NV 89301

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