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  • Virginia and Truckee Railroad

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    Engine No. 18, Baldwin 2-8-2 built in October 1914. Photo at Tunnel #4, 2011 shoofly around old tunnel in both photos. The Virginia and Truckee Railroad is a privately owned historical heritage railroad, headquartered in Virginia City, Nevada in the United States. Its route is long. The railroad owns and uses the service mark "Queen of the Short Lines". The V&T Railroad runs up to seven trains per day, many in steam behind locomotive #29, a 2-8-0 Consolidation, or an ex-US Army GE 80-ton diesel from Virginia City from Memorial Day until the end of October each year. When first constructed in the 19th century, it was a commercial freight railroad which was originally built to serve the Comstock Lode mining communities of northwestern Nevada. At its height, the railroad's route ran from Reno south to the state capital at Carson City. In Carson City, the mainline split into two branches. One branch continued south to Minden, while the other branch traveled east to Virginia City. The first section from Virginia City to Carson City was constructed beginning in 1869 to haul ore, lumber and supplies for the famous Comstock Lode silver mines. The railroad was abandoned in 1950 after years of declining revenue. Much of the rail infrastructure was pulled up and sold, along with the remaining locomotives and railcars. In the 1970s, with public interest in historic railroads on the rise, the old lines were rebuilt by private investors, with an eye towards re-opening the lines. The public Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway has rebuilt the line from Gold Hill (connection with the current V&T Railroad) to Carson City, running the first train over the line in 68 years on August 14, 2009. The Commission acquired a 1914 2-8-2 Mikado steam locomotive (The McCloud no. 18), which had been in use by the Sierra Railroad, out of Oakdale, California, on special lunch and dinner trains. When the no. 18 arrived on the V&T, boiler problems were discovered, and the locomotive awaited repair at the Virginia and Truckee shops in Virginia City. She went to Hollywood for the filming of Water for Elephants. She returned after her scenes were filmed and had her first revenue run on July 24, 2010. Cars and locomotives from the original railroad are on display at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, at the Comstock History Center on C Street in Virginia City, at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento and at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. In order to ascend the mountain to Virginia City it was necessary to build an enormous trestle. Popular Nevada mythology says Crown Point Trestle was considered to be such a feat of engineering that it is featured on the Nevada State Seal. This myth is mentioned by Lucius Beebe. Former Nevada State Archivist Guy Rocha debunks this myth on the state's Myth-a-Month page, pointing out that the state seal predates the trestle and shows a viaduct, not a trestle.

  • Auto Train

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    Auto Train is an scheduled train service for passengers and their automobiles operated by Amtrak between Lorton, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.), and Sanford, Florida (near Orlando). Although there are similar services around the world, the Auto Train is the only one of its kind in the United States. The Auto Train is the only north–south Amtrak train in the east to use Superliner cars. Passengers ride either in coach seats or private sleeping car rooms while their vehicles (car, van, sport utility vehicle, motorcycle, small trailer, or personal watercraft) are carried in enclosed automobile-carrying freight cars, called autoracks. The train has a maximum capacity of 320 vehicles. The train also includes lounge cars and dining cars. The Auto Train service allows its passengers to avoid driving Interstate 95 in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, while bringing their own vehicle with them. The service operates as train 53 southbound and 52 northbound. The train is non-stop between its termini at Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida. Amtrak's Auto Train is the successor to an earlier similarly named service operated by the privately owned Auto-Train Corporation in the 1970s. During fiscal year 2016, the Auto Train carried 238,448 passengers, a 12.2% decrease over FY2015. The train had a total revenue of US$75,169,554 in FY2016, a decrease of 7.9% over FY2015. The Auto Train has the highest revenue of any long-distance train in the Amtrak system.

  • Glossary of North American railway terms

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    This page contains a list of terms, jargon, and slang used to varying degrees by railfans and railroad employees in the United States and Canada. Although not exhaustive, many of the entries in this list appear from time to time in specialist, rail-related publications. Inclusion of a term in this list does not necessarily imply its universal adoption by all railfans and railroad employees, and there may be significant regional variation in usage.

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