Sunday, December 19, 2010

Polar Express on the Nevada Northern December 17, 2010

Depot with excursion train

On December 17, 2010, Tara and I drove down to Ely, Nevada, to ride the special excursion train called "Polar Express" on the historic Nevada Northern Railway. We ate dinner with one of Tara's fellow fourth grade teacher Steve Dennin and his family at Margarita , a mexican restaurant outside of Ely, before driving to the historic Nevada Northern depot.
Hirtory: The area around Ely was an important mining and smelting area for copper. The owner of the mines, Nevada Consolidated Copper Company needed a way to ship the copper ore to markets throughout the US. Construction started on a rail line from Cobre, near present day Wells to Ely, Nevada. Workers completed the railroad two years later in June of 1905. The primary purpose of the railroad was the transport of copper ore; however, a daily passenger train did run from Ely to Cobre, Nevada, on the Southern Pacific. The future of the railroad became doomed when declining ore reserves and prices caused the Ruth mines to close in 1978. In 1986, Kennecott copper transferred the ore line and yard in East Ely to the White Pine Historical Foundation for the creation of a living museum. Today visitors can visit a 56 acre museum in downtown Ely and many special excursions are operated throughout the year. (Thank you to Nevada Northern's website for this information).
The Excursion: The Polar Express is a special excusion train operated by the historic Nevada Northern Railway during the holiday season. The train left the depot at 7:30pm and took about 40 minutes to get to a spot called "the North Pole" where Santa boarded the train and talked to each kid. On the way out attendants gave hot choclate to each customer and read the book "The Polar Express." Everyone sang Christmas carols back to the station. The excursion was fun, however, it could have been a longer trip especially since each ticket cost $30. Remember it is important to keep America's history alive.
The front of the depot

Holiday decorations inside one of the cars

Cool picture of carriage and snow in darkness