News / Events

Railroad History Roars to Life in Boulder City

By Margo Bartlett Pesek of the Las Vegas Review Journal on March 14, 2015.

Part of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs, the museum preserves a few miles of the branch line that the Union Pacific built in 1931 to serve the Boulder Dam Project during the construction of Hoover Dam. Weekend excursion trains roll along 7 miles of original track during round-trips that last about 35 minutes.

The Southern Nevada Railway excursion offers an introduction to an era that has nearly disappeared. For many visitors, this train ride may be their first such adventure. Railroads used to connect nearly all towns in America. Today, fewer rail lines operate and far fewer Americans ever board a train.

Dozens of railroads once served Nevada mines and communities. Today, only two major railroads still cross through Nevada. Only three short lines — the V&T from Virginia City to Carson City, the Nevada Northern in Ely and Boulder City’s Nevada Southern — remain from yesteryear.

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Boulder Rail Line Extension Part of I-11 Project

September 27, 2014. By: Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Ever since engineers first began drawing lines on maps delineating where Interstate 11 would go in Southern Nevada, the focus has been on truck and automobile transportation on the state’s highway system.

It turns out that rail aficionados will have something to cheer about when workers contracted by the Nevada Transportation Department begin construction of the new freeway next spring.

The Boulder Branch railroad line, a 22-mile spur that veers off the main Union Pacific line near Russell Road in Las Vegas south through Henderson, will be restored to Boulder City as part of the I-11 project.

The line was severed in 1998 when tracks at a grade crossing on U.S. Highway 95 near the Railroad Pass casino were paved over.

Two bridges, one for pedestrians and one for the railroad track, are a part of the I-11 project.

To Greg Corbin, director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, it’s the fulfillment of a long-held promise to restore the line all the way to Boulder City.

“To finally see this all come together is really satisfying,” said Corbin, who called the bridge the single most important project for the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum in Boulder City.

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Round-Trip Career Steers Corbin to Roots

August 13, 2014. By Steven Slivka of the Boulder City Review.

Greg Corbin, director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, is leaving for Carson City, the place where his career started 33 years ago.

Corbin, 61, will become the new director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Northern Nevada after 16 years as director in Boulder City. It’s the final stage of a long museum career that Corbin had no intention of pursuing when he first got a job at the Carson City museum in 1981.

He said he enjoyed seeing the train tracks as a kid in Sacramento, but never would have guessed that one day he would become director of a railroad museum.

Corbin spent three years as a state park ranger in Lake Tahoe, but his refusal to relocate to desolate locations prevented him from moving up in the system.

“I got married,” Corbin said, laughing. “When you work in the state park system and you want to advance, you have to be able to move to some pretty remote parts of the state. I had to find something that kept me at home.”

So, putting his family first, Corbin landed a job at the Carson City Railroad Museum instead of hitting the road as a park ranger. It was the unscripted beginning to an “accidental” career.

“It wasn’t by design,” he said. “It was just some place I found myself.”

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On the Right Track

August 6, 2014. By Steven Slivka of the Boulder City Review.

To say that Haydn Haycocks loves trains is an understatement, a description that fails to dig deep to the core of the obsession the young artist and train aficionado has gained since he was a kid.

Haydn’s infatuation with trains has made him a regular at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, and he recently made history when his oil painting of Union Pacific Railroad Engine 6082 was the first to be displayed inside at the museum.

The painting, titled “Crossing Railroad Pass,” shows Union Pacific Engine 6082 crossing Railroad Pass from U.S. Highway 93, along with “1931-1961,” its years of operation at the top.

Haydn, 13, who lives in Summerlin, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome as a 3-year-old. He’s now an eighth-grader at the New Horizons Learning Center, where he’s learned to hone his skills as an artist and as a historian.

“He’s one of our more prolific artists. He loves railroads, and he’s meshed his enthusiasm for railroads with his enthusiasm for art,” said Barbara Bidell, educational director at New Horizons. “He can talk about anything, but especially trains and the history of trains.”

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