Take a trip back in time aboard one of our regularly scheduled passenger train trips. Excursions operate throughout the year:
Join railfans who come from around the world for a first-hand adventure on the "Best-preserved short-line in America":
Getting here can be a great adventure. Check out some of the options:
Yes, you can spend a night or two here in the museum.
WHAT: Spend a week and find out what Workin' on the Railroad really means.
WHEN: Week-long railcamp during summer months. See schedule below
WHO: Dedicated railfans who want to roll up their sleeves and immerse themselves in all aspects of railroad operations.
BRING: Work gloves, work clothes, boots or sturdy shoes, long sleeve shirt for locomotive operations.
Spend a week this Summer workin' on a National Historic Landmark railroad, and the best
preserved standard gauge railroad in America. Experience what it was like during the golden age of railroading.
Become an integral part of the preservation in-progress.
You begin the camp by attending our rules and safety training. And yes, you will be tested on the training materials. After training and testing you will rotate through train operations, working in the shop and out on track.
As part of the crew you will help get a train over up the hill and back again safely. In the shop, you will get hands on experience maintaining the locomotives and cars. It is dirty, oily, greasy work. Without it, trains don't run. As part of the track crew, you will see up close what it takes to keep the railroad running.
Everything comes together at the end of the week. You are part of the switch crew that make up a train in the yard. You'll rotate through the positions of engineer, brakeman and switchman. The training from the week will now make sense as you couple up and move the cars.
At Railroad Reality Week you will have the greatest adventure of your life! It's hands on, intense, and takes you behind the scenes on what it takes to keep a railroad running, but feel free to take it a pace that is comfortable for you. Come and be part if it this Summer.
Any person over 18 who has the physical capability to get into a locomotive cab by themselves, has a valid drivers license, and a sense of adventure can join the program. Note that the Adult/Teen week is for teens 14-18 and their parent or guardian participating together. The teen does not need a drivers license, but must be an enrolled student in good standing at their school during the previous year and must be physically eligible for a drivers license when they are of age.
Ely, Nevada is at 6500 feet above sea level. At that elevation it has a climate more like Denver or Salt Lake than Las Vegas or Phoenix. It is a dry climate, but expect it to rain several times each week. It can get cool in the evening and may get up to the low 90s during the day. Be prepared for these conditions. We provide water at all locations.
We have compiled quite a bit of information about the area, how to get here, and where to stay. At the main menu (above), select VISIT, then look for Tourist Info + Maps. You can start planning your trip here.
The Nevada Northern Railway is an operating 19th century railroad with all the dirt and grime, you'd expect. We ask that you bring clothes that you can get really, really dirty. You will need work boots and work clothes that can hold up to dirt, sweat, and grime. You will also need at least one long sleeve cotton shirt to be worn in the cab of the locomotives. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses (or clip-ons), and a hat for when you are out in the sun. If you wear glasses, please bring a pair of safety glasses or goggles that will fit over your glasses.
The Nevada Northern will provide hard hats, safety glasses, and work gloves, although you are welcome to bring your own. You will also receive the Nevada Northern Handbook of Operating Rules and a binder with information on the surrounding area as well as history of the railroad, mining, and track repair information.
Details of our 2018 schedule are being finalized. Here is a summary of what to expect:
Starting Mid-April 2018:
Fridays 4:30pm STEAM Train
Saturdays 1:00pm STEAM Train
Sundays 9:30am STEAM Train
Starting Memorial Day Weekend:
Fridays 4:30pm STEAM
Saturdays 1:00pm and 4:30pm STEAM
Sundays 9:30am STEAM
Mondays 9:30am STEAM
Wed and Thru 9:30am DIESEL
Starting after Labor Day:
Reduced schedule (September and October similar to April)
Be the Engineer STEAM: Available most
days that STEAM operates
Be the Engineer DIESEL: Can be arranged for almost anytime
On-Line ticketing, along with the full schedule (including special trains and events) will be available by late October
|Two people registering together||$1,377||$1,620|
|Add a "STEAM - Be the Engineer" experience||$572||$672|
|Stay in the Bunkhouse (Per Room, for 8 nights)*||$447||$519|
|*Limited availability - Price per room - Up to 2 people per room|
Members receive discounts: Memberships start at $30.
Second Registrant Discount: Bring a family member or friend and enjoy the experience together. We have had friends, couples, and parent/teen Duos enjoy this experience together. Your second registrant attends for 50%.
Add a Be the Engineer Experience: Add one Be the EngineerExperience for you, or you and your co-registrant to share for 30% off the normal Be the Engineer Experience. This will be your best opportunity ever to get behind the throttle of one of our steam locomotives out on the main line.
NOTE: Membership discounts also apply to the two options above for even more savings!
No other discounts apply to this experience.
|4:30 p.m.||Welcome train ride and introductions|
|7:45 AM||Railroad safety and rules training with NN Ry crews|
|8:00 a.m.||Railroad safety and rules training with NN Ry crews|
|1:00 p.m.||Railroad safety and rules test|
|8:00 a.m.||Work Day - Track, Shop or Operations (in rotation)|
|8:00 a.m.||Orientation - Video Ore to Copper; History of the Nevada Northern Railway.|
|Morning||Director's tour of the National Historic Landmark.|
|1:00 p.m.||Tour of Robinson Copper Mine|
|8:00 a.m.||Work Day - Track, Shop and Operations (in rotation)|
|8:00 a.m.||Work Day - Track, Shop and Operations (in rotation)|
|8:00 a.m.||Operate a diesel locomotive; switchman; brakeman|
|Operate Speeder and Velocipede|
|1:00 p.m.||Tour of depots|
|4:30 p.m.||Caboose Ride and Pizza|
|6:00 p.m.||Graduation and Group Photos|
|11:00 a.m.||Ride on train for all attendees and their families|
|Please be advised that the schedule may change due to operational considerations.|
|Day 1||Tour Great Basin National Park and Lehman Caves|
|Day 2||Ward Charcoal Ovens, Tonopah Canyon and Garnet Hill|
|Day 3||Success Loop and Cave Lake State Park|
|Day 4||Mural Tour, Renaissance Village and Downtown Walking Tour|
|Day 5||Pioche Tour and Lunch|
Each Railroad Reality Week starts on a Friday, so hover over a Friday start date to book your railcamp experience.
Click here if you still have a question about this program.