WHAT: The original executive offices right out of the 1910's are open for you to view.
WHEN: Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm
WHY: Put yourself in the shoes of those men and women who worked every day to keep this community connected to the world during the 1900's .
WHERE: East Ely Railroad Depot Museum, 1100 Avenue A, Ely, Nevada 89301
There's a museum within the museum here! You can visit both for the price of one.
The first half of this "duo" is the Nevada Northern Railway Foundation. It owns and operates all of the trains and railroad experiences in Ely. This includes all of the original Nevada Northern main-line, the yards, the enginehouse, the maintenance shop, the bunkhouse and caboose that you can sleep in, the locomotives, the historic freight cars in the yard, the coaches you ride in, and the depot that you depart from.
What's left? Years ago, when the independent, non-profit foundation began preserving what you now experience, cash was short. The State of Nevada agreed to contribute to the restoration on a one-time basis by assuming ownership and maintenance of the second floor of the depot and the original freighthouse just south of the depot.
What's in it for you? You now get to see just what an American short-line railroad looked like from its headquarters offices where the executive and financial management team worked. As you begin to look around you will appreciate that this was an efficient, no-nonsense ingenuity-first outfit from the very beginning. It had to be to survive in the rugged area that it served.
The second floor of the depot (old executive offices) and the original freighthouse is now operated by the State of Nevada as the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum, a unit of the Nevada State Railroad Museum, and staffed with a full-time curator. The State was also deeded the collection of Nevada Northern corporate records housed in the offices. Virtually every record is there, starting with the original deposit book that Mark Requa used to start the railroad, and ending with the transportation sheet of the Nevada Northern Railway's last day of revenue operation in June 1983. It appears to be the most comprehensive paper record of any American railroad. According to curator Sean Pitts, it "ranks among the top ten of any collection of company records in the United States." There has been substantial academic research supported by this amazing slice of time in America's industrial history.
You will receive a free ticket to visit the State's Museum-within-the-Museum with each admission or train tickets issued by the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. Getting a pass to visit the second floor offices is the easy part. Now you have to find out how to get up to the second floor. Don't worry. The broad, steep steps are only a few feet away from where our trains arrive and depart, and we will show you exactly where they are.
Note that the State of Nevada's East Ely Railroad Depot Museum-within-the-Museum has shorter hours than the Railroad's Depot Gift Shop and Ticket Desk. The State's second-floor museum is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm, so plan accordingly.