National Train Day 2018

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Dan from No Facilities blog has been reminding Train Lovers about National Train Day for several years, and I’m so glad he’s sent those reminders otherwise I would likely forget to post the train images I’ve been saving for the day, and how special is it this year?  It’s on my Birthday! I’ve scheduled this post ahead of time because I plan to be birding, or sleeping in when it goes live. 🙂  See Dan Antion’s  Train post on his blog  here.

Last August when we were in Carson City, NV. house hunting ( after nearly a year of looking) we found a house we loved late one afternoon, and we and our Realtor planned to meet early the following morning to write up the offer.

He-Man and I rose really early, dressed, ate breakfast and headed out because I wanted to stop at the Nevada State Railroad Museum before our meeting with our Realtor.  All the months we’d been driving up and down Hwy 395 while house hunting I’d been eyeing the place and wanting to visit thinking it would be perfect for National Train Day plus I really liked the trains I was seeing at the station.

We arrived at the Museum before they were actually open for business and  am I glad we did as we were able to see the Conductors/Engineers roll out the trains from the Shed they’d be using that day, and we got to see them put each of the Motor cars on an old-fashioned manual labor turntable, and switch tracks!

They were so kind and let me take all the photos I wanted. You know,  I stayed well out of their way so not to lose that privilege.  I was good I never crossed an unwritten or written line. Phew!

I have so many images, but I’ve paired it down to a few because I’ve included some information about each Motor car which makes this a long post for me.

The Conductors chatting before work,

The Turntable with an Engineer switching the track:


Motor Car 22- Virginia and Truckee – For the History Buffs I gleaned this about the car from Wikipedia.

Virginia and Truckee Railway Motor Car 22, also called McKeen Motor Car 70, is a gasoline-powered railcar at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson Cityin the U.S. state of Nevada. It was built for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in 1910 by the McKeen Motor Car Company. Motor Car 22 was operated by the Virginia and Truckee until 1945, when it was sold off and became a diner until 1955. It eventually became the office and storage space for a plumbing business before it was donated to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in 1995. After a thorough study,[2] the Museum undertook a restoration of the McKeen car in 1997. The restored motor car was unveiled in 2010, a century after it was originally delivered to the Virginia and Truckee. Motor Car 22 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. It is one of a few surviving McKeen railcars, and the only one that is operational.[“`

Tucson Cornelia and Gila Bend RR N°401- For the History Buffs I gleaned this information from the Nevada State Railroad Museum’s Site

” Motor car No. 401 was built by the Edwards Motor Car Co. of Sanford, NC and put into service October 1926 by the Tucson, Cornelia & Gila Bend Railroad of Ajo, AZ. The motor car operated regularly until December 31, 1947 and was finally donated to Travel Town in Los Angeles, California.

The motor car traveled over 783,000 miles while in service, running between the copper mine at Ajo and Gila Bend, a distance of 43 miles. The car was powered by a six-cylinder White gasoline engine that was installed in November 1943, replacing the original after 17 years of service.

During 1963 the motor car was traded to Mr. Lindley Bothwell for two Los Angeles trolley cars. Acquired by Short Line Enterprises in 1975, the motor car was restored and operated in Virginia City during the 1976 season as the Washoe Zephyr No. 50. The motor car was moved to Jamestown, California and stored until it was moved to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in spring of 1988. The motor car is now owned by the museum.

The No. 50 received a new 75 HP Cummins diesel engine during the spring of 1997. The diesel engine replaced a 75 HP White gasoline engine. The White engine was installed about 1943, replacing the motorcar’s original Continental engine.

In 1999, the motor car received a new fluid drive transmission, and, before participating in Rail-fair ’99 at the California State Railroad Museum, was painted to reflect its appearance on the TC&GB.”

–Staff and Sagebrush Headlight–

Both Motor Cars at Wabuska Station waiting for passengers.

One can have a train ride from the Wabuska Station from May to December on the week-ends. I don’t know how far or where they go, but I plan to get that information and ride both cars if time allows, and visit the museum when I return. ( The museum is a short walk from the Station)

I made a time-lapse of the trains coming out of the shed and being put on the turntable from 54 of my still images.  It goes pretty fast.  If I ever start to do more videos I’ll use a dedicated video camera and hopefully do a better job in the developing process.


I wish I could have spent more time there, and ridden the trains, but time wasn’t on our side.  I had a blast seeing the trains come out for the day’s operation though.  I’ll be going back there. They have a Steamie (Steam Engine) too! It doesn’t run all the time. When it does I want to be there for it!

Plus 1 more! It was August and the sunflowers in front of the Museum were in bloom and at peak. I could not resist them!  🙂

I hope you liked this post for National Train Day.

The Inside Track:   Our offer was accepted. We bought the house! We’re renting it out until we can move.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Lexar Digital Film| Stills, and Timelapse developed in PS CC 2018

more to come…





45 thoughts on “National Train Day 2018

    1. Thank you so much Lynn! I detest the number I am now, but I don’t feel anywhere as old as it sounds. My spirit will forever be young I think. Mind you, there are days the body doesn’t want to play along, but I try to coax it along! 🙂

  1. It was nice that train day was on your birthday – you could celebrate both. Love the photos and the history, and a perfect way to close the post with a beautiful sunflower. Congrats on the new house and hope it is a wonderful new journey for you.

  2. Cool, shots, post and in awe of how you arranged to have National Train Day celebrated on your Birthday! But you missed an awesome display of Ospreys today; 3 hit the air and did some great flybys for us. Hope you had a great birthday celebration with hubby and grandson !

    1. It was cool that it was on my birthday this year. 🙂

      I know I missed you guys and seeing the Osprey, but I did get some local birding in during the morning. I got my birthday wish and saw the Lazuli Bunting! It even perched a few seconds so I got a few images of it.

      Hopefully, I’ll get to see those Osprey, and if not I’ll enjoy your images.

  3. Happy birthday to you, dear Deborah! 🎶 💐 ❤️
    I absolutely loved the turnstile and how you captured them being on the switch track and coming out of the shed.
    The rich, shiny looking burgundy train car was gorgeous! It has a modern, sleek look for its age!
    The green train was so classic and historical in design!
    I read the details and ages, along with who restored and finished them to their fine appearance. Thanks for looking these up and you have a fabulous post here for National Train Day.
    Tomorrow, hope your family and you have a wonderful Mother’s Day, with your visiting grandson, too. 💞 xo

    1. Thank you so much Robin! Oh yes, No 22 was way ahead of her time. She’s pretty. I am looking forward to riding in her one day.

      I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day too! xx💕🌹

      1. This was such a pleasant surprise, Deborah! Thank you for telling me No 22 was truly as beautiful and modern in her appearance as I thought: “way ahead of her time.”
        We will all enjoy hearing about the train ride, too.
        I am posting a Mother’s Day post, only because this lovely scene seemed to be a “floral gift” for mothers everywhere. . .
        Hopefully, you will be too busy and have a peek on Monday instead of tomorrow. hugs xo 💗 🦋

        1. Great minds think alike they say! I’m getting a floral post ready for tomorrow too!

          Hopefully, you’ll be resting, and be Queen for a day tomorrow, and you can check out mine on Monday. I’m sure I’ll be catching up on blogs tomorrow. I haven’t scheduled a thing! xx
          Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. OMG, Train Day?! I’ll have both Cornelis Drebbel and Valentino mad at me for not letting them know about this…
    Deborah this is a wonderful post. I need to come back and spend more time with it. I want to savor every photo.
    And most importantly ~~ Happy Birthday! Many happy returns and mega hugs!

    1. Oh, yeah, they’re probably be miffed that you didn’t let them know. Valentino’s train is so cool! If I was thinking I could have done that train. DOH!

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment, and Birthday wish! Hugs back at ya! xx

  5. This is s fantastic post, Deborah. When I read that you were apologizing for it being long, I was shaking my head – long? Too long? Trains? That’s crazy talk.

    I’m glad they let you take the photos ( I like that time lapse) it’s so fun to see them get ready for the day.

    I appreciate the history and the details. I’m glad this museum is on your route and that you plan to return. I hope to see picture of that steam loco!

    Happy Birthday! Happy Mother’s Day! And, happy National Train Day!

    1. Ha! When I had so many favorite images of the motorcars coming out of the shed and going on the Turntable I had no idea how I was going to pare them down to tell the story. I thought of you and your galleries, and then I had a Eureka! moment and thought Time-lapse!

      I’m so glad you liked the post!

      Now to start collecting, and continue saving the other train images I have for another year or post.
      I’d appreciate another reminder next year/ “)

      Thank you for the Birthday, and Mother’s Day wishes too! It’s been a stellar day so far!

  6. I love that time lapse sequence of photos! What a cool idea!

    Don’t you just get a little-kid thrill from watching something that isn’t intended for the general public? I couldn’t really picture the process of moving these train cars with the turntable until I watched the ‘video’. Cool 🙂

    Happy, happy birthday Deborah! Hope you are having a day full of everything you love!

    1. Thank you so much Joanne! I’m so glad you like the Time-lapse! If I had thought about it at the time I would have taken more images to make it a bit longer.

      Isn’t that turntable neat! I was like a kid in a candy shop watching it all unfold.

      I am chomping at the bit to get back over to ride the trains, visit the museum, and there’s other stuff there I want to do too.

      I’ve mentioned to He-Man that I’d like to vacation there this year. He didn’t say no, and seemed open. Fingers crossed! 🙂

      Thank you so much for the Birthday wish! It’s been a wonderful day so far!

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