The Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City will receive more than $23 million to build a new visitor centre as part of a capital bill passed earlier this week by the state legislature.
The museum operates a historic train experience on 4½ miles of the old branch line which brought workers and materials into Boulder City for the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. The train, comprising early 20th century rail cars pulled by classic diesel-electric locomotives, currently operates from a covered platform. There is no terminal building and only limited display buildings.
The museum has an ambitious plan to expand its facilities. Phase 1, which has been several years in gestation, is the Visitor Centre (‘Center’) for which they have now received the go-ahead.
Phase 2 will be the development of a linear park that runs the length of the museum campus incorporating the museum’s current live steam 7.5″ interpretative railroad and will add an outdoor amphitheatre, a railroad themed children’s playground, leisure areas, and a trail for cyclists and pedestrians.
Phase 3 will be the construction of an exhibit hall next to the visitor centre, plus additional track and shade structures for displaying rolling stock.
The Nevada State Railroad Museum operates its train on weekends and the 9 mile round-trip between Boulder City and Railroad Pass lasts approximately 45 minutes. The museum is also hoping to extend the track an additional mile into Henderson.
The funding is good news for the museum, its visitors and railway enthusiasts. Let’s hope the future expansion plans stay on track.