Nevada State Railroad Museum reconnects to the national system

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BOULDER CITY, Nev. — Two silver spikes driven Friday by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and U.S. Sen. Dean Heller officially connected rail service between Boulder City and Henderson, Nev., and opened up new opportunities for the Nevada State Railroad Museum.

“We’re talking about a day where we’re making history, but we’re also restoring history,” Sandoval said at the ceremony, “I think about the people coming to Southern Nevada, and they want a legitimate quality experience and adventure. Now they’re going to be able to have that and share that as a family.”

Union Pacific built the branch line in 1931 to deliver supplies to Hoover Dam construction site. The railraod museum operates on a portion of the line, but the Nevada Department of Transportation closed off the portion of the line leading to Henderson in 1998.

Improvements to the line and a railroad bridge were funded as a part of a $318 million package to improve Highway 11 and create a pedestrian trail. The museum's UP GP30 No. 844, the diesel locomotive that required the railroad's flagship steam locomotive to be renumbered as the 8444 for a time in the 1960s-1990s, led the first train between the two cities in more than 20 years.

The NSRM plans to construct a new visitor center, a display hall, a display pavilion, and a railroad park in Henderson. Some of the town's residents anticipate that the tourist railroad's presence will become an economic boon to the area.

“We also know that trains continue to excite and fascinate fans of all ages around the globe,”Henderson Mayor Debra March told the Las Vegas Review Journal, “So we know this is also important in terms of tourism and family fun.”

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