The Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in the history of railroads in the American West. Located just a short drive from Las Vegas, situated on a 100-acre site that was once part of the Boulder City Terminal Railroad, which played a crucial role in the construction of the nearby Hoover Dam in the 1930s.
The museum's collection includes a variety of historic locomotives, passenger cars, and other rolling stock, many of which are restored to their original condition. Visitors can take a ride on the museum's train, which travels along a scenic 4-mile route through the desert landscape.
The museum is staffed by knowledgeable volunteers who are passionate about railroading and happy to answer questions and share their expertise with visitors. Whether you're a railroad enthusiast or simply interested in the history of transportation in the American West, the Nevada State Railroad Museum is a must-visit attraction.
For more information, please visit the official Nevada State Railroad Museum Boulder City web site.
Union Pacific 2-8-0 264 is a "Harriman Standard" steam locomotive that was built in 1907 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Union Pacific Railroad. The locomotive was part of the Union Pacific's C-57 class of Consolidation type locomotives, which were designed for heavy freight service. It was renumbered by the UP to 6264 late in its career in 1953 probably to make room for EMD GP9 264 built in 08/1954. 6264 was one of the very last steam locomotives used on the UP. It was taken out of service in 1950 and stored in La Salle, CO until 1959 when it was officially retired.
In 1959 the UP donated 6264 to the Sons of the Utah Pioneers. The Sons of the Utah Pioneers placed on display face-to-face with SP 1744 at the Railroad Village Museum in Corinne, UT. This was done to mimic the positioning of the Jupiter and the UP 119 at the Golden Spike ceremony in 1869.
6264 was relocated to Heber City, UT beginning on April, 1980. The boiler and cab were separated from the frame and moved by truck to Heber City, UT. The UP 6264 and SP 1744 tenders were moved by truck to Heber City, UT later that same day. The SP 1744 locomotive without tender was moved to Heber City, UT on April 22, 1980.
6264 was purchased by the Nevada State Railroad Museum and moved to its present location in 1993. Again, the boiler and cab were separated from the frame for the move to Boulder City. The locomotive underwent an extensive restoration, which was completed in 2005, and it is now one of the museum's most popular exhibits.
35 was built by Baldwin in 1923 for the Pacific Lumber Co at Scotia, CA. Still in operational condition it was sold to Edward & Julius Nervo in 1966 and sold again to Gunner Henriolle in 1968 but remained in Scotia, CA.
In 1971 it was sold to the Promontory Chapter of the NRHS. It was transferred by the Wasatch Railroad & Museum Foundation and moved to Heber City, UT. The transfer was partially by flatcar and partially under its own power where the 35 pulled Rayonier 2-6-6-2T #110 dead in tow to Heber City. It operated on the Heber Creeper Scenic Railroad from 1971 to 1976 as Wasatch Mountain Railway (WMR) 35 after which it was retired.
In 1992 it was sold to the Nevada State Railroad Museum and moved to Boulder City in February 1993.
This locomotive was built in 1896 by Baldwin for the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad in Colorado as their #10. In 1915 it was transferred to the Cripple Creek & Colorado Springs Railroad as their #36. In 1917 it was sold to the Uintah Railway as their #12. The Uintah replaced the boiler in 1924. A couple years later the Uintah purchased two 2-6-6-2T locomotive which effectively replaced #12.
In 1937 it was sold to the Eureka Nevada Railway as their #12 in anticipation of freight traffic which never occurred. On its first trip it spread the rails and derailed three times. #12 is known to have made only two trips on the Eureka Nevada and was never re-lettered for the Eureka Nevada. Three months after #12 arrived, the railroad filed for abandonment. Because #12 had only recently been purchased, the railroad did not attempt to scrap it.
#12 was "acquired" by Robert Caudill of Las Vegas under questionable circumstances in 1946 or 1947. He displayed it at the Last Frontier Village, part of the Silver Slipper Saloon and Gambling Hall on the Las Vegas strip. In 1962 #12 was sold to the Gold Strike Casino near Hoover Dam where it was displayed with three Eureka Nevada passenger cars as the "Gold Strike Express, No 7-11. It received a new #7 number plate at this time despite the fact that it never operated as #7. Sometime later the locomotive and passenger cars were moved to the Clark County Museum in Henderson.
Eventually the locomotive and cars were donated to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, NV where they are stored on a wye. It is a possible restoration project with most of its components surprisingly in very good condition.
This locomotive is not at the Nevada State Railroad Museum. However, it is displayed in a nearby casino in Henderson, NV.
This locomotive was built by Orenstein & Koppel in Berlin, Germany in 1901. After being used in sand quarries it was exported to the USA in the 1960s.
It was displayed for a short time at the Rhinebeck Airport in New York. It was then acquired by Steamtown USA in Bellows Falls, VT. After the death of Steamtown's owner, the collection was moved to Scranton, PA. However, many of the non-American locomotives were sent to other locations. This locomotive ended up at the High Country Railroad in Golden, CO and was used to pull tourist trains. When that operation ceased, the locomotive was sold the Sunset Station Casino.
This locomotive is not at the Nevada State Railroad Museum. However, it is displayed nearby at the Clark County Museum in Henderson, NV.
4442 is a Class S-5 0-6-0 built by Baldwin for the UP in 1918. It's interesting because the class of 30 locomotives were originally ordered from and designed by Lima. However, Lima was unable to complete the order so Baldwin fulfilled it.
4442 was put to work in Omaha, NE and was one of three UP 0-6-0s with special cosmetic enhancements due to the fact that they were used to assemble passenger trains and were often in public view. 4442 had chrome-plated cylinder covers and nickel-plated drive rods. The boiler jacketing was extended over the smokebox and painted gray. The rest of the locomotive was painted gloss black.
4442 was moved to Las Vegas in the 1930s and used in normal yard service. 4442 was retired in March, 1960 and donated to the city of Las Vegas in April, 1960. It was moved to the Clark County Museum in Henderson sometime later.
1855 is an FM H-12-44 yard switcher built by Fairbanks Morse in 1950 for the Army Transportation Corps. The "H-12-44" model name stood for:
The prime mover in the H-12-44 was interesting because it employed an "opposed-piston" design where the pistons were designed to face each other.
"Dinky" is a 30-ton locomotive built in 1936 by the Davenport Locomotive Works for the Department of the Interior. It was transferred to the United States Bureau of Reclamation and put into service between Boulder City and the Hoover Dam. Later, it went to Henderson Industrial Park as their #1051 and then to Jake's Crane & Rigging in Las Vegas. It came to the museum in 1999.
L-2 is a General Electric 25-ton switcher built in 1943. It was used at the Atomic Energy Commission Nevada Test Site. The Nevada Test Site, which was established in 1951 for the testing of nuclear devices, is located about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. L-2 came to the museum in November 2010.
L-3 is an 80-ton switcher built by General Electric in 1953 (or 1964?) for a US Naval Station as their 65-0550. It was later transferred to the Atomic Energy Commission Nevada Test Site northwest of Las Vegas.
The name "Jackass & Western" comes from "Jackass Flats" which was one of the locations near the Nevada Test Site.
This 2-axle 36 inch gauge switcher was sitting on the narrow-gauge tracks near the museum. It is a 20-ton Plymouth class DL-2 built in 1922 by Plymouth (contruction number 1363). It was used by the Old Mission Portland Cement Co. It came to the museum from the Ardenwood Farm in Fremont, CA.