weather icon Clear

Train museum takes advantage of downtime to service, rebuild cars

Silver linings can be difficult to come by in the current times, but the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum in Boulder City has found one.

The facility reopened at the end of May and still cannot offer train rides, but staff is using this downtime to rebuild and reservice train cars so that more visitors will be able to have a grand experience as soon as possible. They have also renovated another open-air car that hasn’t been rail-worthy since coming to the museum in the 1990s.

“There will now be an additional 30 seats (for riders),” said Randy Hees, museum director.

Hees said they will be able to offer train rides once Phase Three of Nevada’s reopening begins and, because of COVID-19, they will be running more open cars. Currently, the only train rides available are as part of Rail Explorers’ rail bike tours.

Hees said they decided to rebuild the car before closing for COVID-19, and are in the process of replacing the floor and benches in another open-air car as well as doing required maintenance.

“We’re going to make sure we’re doing what we can to be ready,” he said.

They were able to continue the work and repair another car thanks to the nonprofit organization Friends of the Nevada Southern Railway Inc.

“We … stepped up with the state budget issues with this COVID-19 stuff,” said Scott Dam, president of the nonprofit.

Dam said the museum will not get state funds it usually receives due to budget cuts caused by the pandemic. Because of that, Friends of the Southern Nevada Railway purchased the repair materials as well as personal protective equipment for the staff and volunteers, an ultraviolet light system and thermal sensors.

“That’s why we do our fundraisers,” he said.

Currently, the museum’s outdoor exhibit is open for visitors from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

“We ask that guests wash hands, maintain social distance, stay home if sick and wear a mask,” Hees said. “Staff is required to wear a mask. We have disinfecting protocols for the restrooms, rail bikes and train cars.”

Rail Explorers has resumed its operations with a capacity for 46 riders, and the bikes allow them to social distance. After their ride, they return to the museum in an open-air train car.

The caboose, mail car and gift shop remain closed.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
City gains ownership of hangars

Boulder City is taking ownership of 28 airport hangars after a District Court judge denied a motion and canceled a restraining order prohibiting them from doing so.

Mask mandate heeded

People in Boulder City are adjusting to the recent statewide mandate to wear masks in public places.

School leaders ready to start next year

Local school leaders are confident in the ability of their staff, students and the community to implement the district’s reopening plan, whatever it may be.

Fatal disease for rabbits could change desert landscape

A fatal disease with the potential to change the makeup of the local desert landscape was recently found in Boulder City’s wild rabbit population.

Request for power doors at post office denied

Two years of hard work, 1,500 signatures and countless phone calls later and the Nevadans for the Common Good are no closer to getting power-assisted doors installed at the Boulder City Post Office than they were when they started calling for a change.

Caller’s intuition helps save life

This series of day-in-the-life of stories provides a candid look behind the scenes of the Boulder City police officers who protect and serve Boulder City.

News Briefs, June 25

Six residents, four employees at vets home test positive

‘Thermal injury’ death under investigation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a fatal accident at Boulder Oaks RV Resort.

Parkway renovation ‘substantially’ done

The multimillion dollar renovation of Boulder City Parkway is “substantially finished” with only a few minor items remaining to be done.