Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trip to Sparks, Nevada - Pt 6 Nevada State Railroad Museum 3

Today is the last part of our look at the Nevada State Railroad Museum and we're goin' out back to the Annex. The Annex is where the overflow engines and rolling stock reside as the main hall isn't big enough to accommodate them all. It also serves as the maintenance shed and where restorations are carried out. It is out here where another jewel of the museum calls home. Not only is it a jewel, it has in fact been designated a National Historic Landmark - the McKeen Motor Car. More on that later, but let's start our tour. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Bettina Berg

To the left you see the Tucson, Cornelia & Gila Bend R.R. motor car #401 called the 'Edwards Car' by museum staff because it was made by the Edwards Motor Car Co. of Sanford, NC. The car does run under its own power and on designated days takes tourists around the museum's loop of track.


Here's a close-up of that engine you see in the background in the above photo

Virginia & Truckee R.R. Coach No. 9

I really liked the truck 'parked' on top of this flatcar

An unusual combination knuckle/link-&-pin coupler

The next three photos are show cars parked behind barriers and off-limits to visitors. The barriers are open enough so that photos can be taken though

Some miscellaneous displays

Here's a jewel in the making. Museum staff have been hard at work restoring th the Glenbrook, an American style 4-4-0 steam engine.

Last, but certainly not least is the crown jewel of the collection, McKeen Motor Car #22. Let's let Wikipedia briefly describe the car:

"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 City in 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.[3]"

A PBS (Public Broadcasting System) show on the restoration of this car was just aired last month I believe and it was amazing what it went through. The car was retired in 1945 after 35 years of service. It was sold in 1946 and turned into a diner.  Eventually a structure was built around the car as it was turned into a plumbing business, and storage. Finally it was donated to the museum in 1995 and after many years and much effort was rededicated after formal completion on May 9, 2010.

Of course it would have been great to ride on this - and it is open for rides on designated days - but as I said on a previous post we got to the Museum on a non-operating day.

It looks like the prow of a ship

Entering the car, to the left is the engine and cab. To the right is the coach area

Antique clo, or loo, or john, or....

The windows are an unusual porthole design, another tip of the hat to nautical design


  1. There is a photo above showing a big yellow passenger car with a knuckle coypler that has a slotted knuckle with a link hanging out of it. What is tbe quick identity of the car, what coupler model is that and are there any casting marks on the coupler? Thanks!

    1. CJ, I looked at all my photos and there were no close-ups of the coupler and I simply don't recall who made it. However, there is a facebook page for the museum (or search for Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City):

      Perhaps the museum staff will be able to answer your questions.

  2. What is the make, model, history, of the knuckle coupler on the big yellow passenger car in the photos on this site? Also, are there are markings on the coupler body and knuckle? Thanks. CJ.

    1. I guess it's ditto for the make of the car too :-)