03 Dec Gold Hill Depot
The original Gold Hill Depot of the V&T Railroad, just a platform by the road, was completed in 1869. But on November 3 of 1872 the engine Lyon, covered in garlands of flowers, entered the new station, greeted by the mayor and other dignitaries who were gathered to celebrate the completion of the railroad. The station is located on a sharp curve in the railroad line–one of the few flat places available in Gold Hill. As a result the passenger section of the building is trapezoidal thereby accommodating the limited amount of space available. The station served passengers and freight, and was also a telegraph station. In 1938 the locomotive Reno pulled the last V&T train out of Virginia City and Gold Hill. The modern excursion V&T Railroad now takes passengers in season from Virginia City to Gold Hill and Carson City.
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The Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company was organized in Nevada in 1868, just as the Central Pacific Railroad was completed to nearby Reno. With its objective to serve the Comstock Lode mining communities of northwestern Nevada, the 21-mile line was completed on January 29, 1870 between Carson and Virginia City. A 31-mile extension north from Carson City connected the Comstock with the transcontinental rail service at Reno in August of 1872.
The railroad was abandoned in 1950 after years of declining revenue. Much of the rail infrastructure was pulled up and sold, along with the remaining locomotives and railcars. Then in 1976, Robert Gray—a businessman and railroad buff from California—seeing the potential in the rebirth of this historic monument, brought the V&T back to life. Old right-of-ways were purchased to Gold Hill, steam trains were renovated and the V & T entered a new life as an excursion train for history and railroad buffs visiting historic Virginia City, now with a connection to the eastern edge of Carson City.