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The Two-Day Trip to Price, Utah 8/14-15/2021

by Chris Guenzler

This is the three-and-a-half week trip to the National Railway Historical Society 2021 convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We took fellow NRHS members, and friends, Greg and Marty Smith, with us and would have many adventures on the way. En route to Wisconsin, we would stop at the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum and spend the night in Cedar City, Utah. The next day's highlight was Soldier Summit followed by the Evanston Roundhouse Museum, the Heber Valley Railroad, a day in the Powder River Basin, the Black Hills Central Railroad, the Sioux City Roundhouse Museum, the Mid Continent Railroad Museum, Rochelle Railroad Park, the Fox River Trolley Museum and the Milwaukee Zoo Railroad, before attending the convention. On the way home, a stop would be made at the Depot Inn and Suites in La Plata, Missouri, depots on the way to Dodge City, Kansas and Canon City, a ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad then over to Durango for the two-day Trains Magazine charter Extra 493 with Southern Pacific 18, a trip to Ridgway and Gunnison on the way to Antonito for the Rio Grande Southern 20 charter and the two-day trip back home.

8/14/2021 Greg Smith picked Elizabeth and I up in front of our apartment and we drove over to their house to pick up some jackets before we left town. Greg drove us east on CA 91 to the Interstate 215 to Interstate 15 and stopped for petrol in Barstow. Elizabeth then drove us northeast to Boulder City where we parked in the parking lot of this great railroad museum.

Nevada Southern Railroad Museum

The Nevada Southern Railroad Museum is a railroad museum in Boulder City, Nevada operated by the Nevada State Railroad Museum which is an agency of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. The railway is operated by the Nevada State Railroad Museum and is located on the tracks that were installed to support construction activities at the Hoover Dam. The state obtained the tracks and right of way from the Union Pacific Railroad in 1985.

The museum operates a heritage railroad which offers passenger excursion trains using historic railroad equipment on a 7-mile, 45 minute round trip. Operations began in 2002, and the museum also offers the opportunity for passengers to ride in the locomotive cab, the caboose and to operate trains.

This ride features a preserved former Union Pacific EMD GP30, No 844, which necessitated the renumbering of steam locomotive 844 to 8444 from 1962 to 1989. It weighs approximately 125 tons and has a turbocharged V16 engine that develops 2250 hp. It was donated to the museum and refurbished in Union Pacific colors.

As part of the Interstate 11 project NDOT has replaced the bridge over US Route 93 that was taken out of service in 1998 during the widening of Highway 93 into Interstate 515. Nevada Southern is now in talks with Union Pacific and the city of Henderson to construct a railyard and station so the train can turn around without making any backup moves making trips 14 miles instead of 7. In April 2018, a grade separation was put in place at the former grade crossing near Railroad Pass Casino, effectively linking Boulder City and Henderson together.

Our Visit

Due to the heat, the train ride was only offered at 10:00 which there was no way we could do it on this visit. I walked across the road to the shop building.

Unknown Union Pacific passenger car.

Former Amtrak F40PHR 231 owned by Dynamic Rail Preservation Inc.

Eureka and Palisade Railroad combine "Elsa" being built by Dan Markoff who restored Eureka and Palisade 4-4-0 4.

Ellsmere Private Business Car built by the Wagner Palace Car Company in 1899. It was the last car built by this company before it became part of the Pullman Company. Missouri Pacific bought the car and used it on the Texas and Pacific until 1960. The car was later acquired by museums in the central Texas area, then purchased by a Las Vegas casino owner and remained in his care for several years, being donated to the Nevada Southern Railway in 2002.

Nevada Southern Railroad Museum speeder 97.

Union Pacific NW2 1000 which was sold to the Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad in Stockton, California in 1968, was traded to the Western Pacific becoming 607 then in 1973, it went to Sacramento Northern. This locomotive was returned to the Union Pacific roster during the 1982 merger between the Western Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad, where it was renumbered back to 1000. Finally, in 1984 the Union Pacific donated it to the Deer Creek Scenic Railway in Heber City, Utah. It was eventually acquired by the Nevada State Railroad Museum and moved to its current location in 1993. I walked back to the museum.

Pacific Lumber Company 2-8-0 35 built by Baldwin in 1923 and used in Scotia, California.

Union Pacific 2-8-0 264 built by Baldwin in 1907.

United States Army H12-44 1855 built by Fairbanks-Morse & Company in 1953 and used at the Sierra Ordnance Depot in Herlong, California.

Davenport 30 ton switcher built in 1936 for the Department of the Interior then transferred to the Bureau of Reclamation and worked on the ten mile line connecting Boulder City with Hoover Dam.

Jackass and Western 80 ton switcher L-3 built by General Electric in 1964. It worked at the Atomic Energy Commission Nevada Test Site. The railway's name comes from the Jackass Flats, one of the locations where the test site was located.

Jackass and Western 25 ton switcher L-2 built by General Electric in 1943, whicih also operated at the Atomic Energy Commission Nevada Test Site during the 1960's and 1970's.

The Nevada Merci Car.

The museum's trainset used for excursions.

Union Pacific GP-30 844 which caused Union Pacific 4-8-4 844 to be renumbered to Union Pacific 8444.

SDP40F 644, ex Amtrak 644, now 6976 and owned by Dynamic Rail Preservation Inc.

Union Pacific maintenance-of-way 900634, built 1914 as Oregon and Washington Railroad and Navigation Company coach 331.

Former Northwest Oklahoma business car 6802 "Nobleman" originally Grand Trunk Western 84. It later ran on the Hartwell Railroad in Georgia. The car has a "Red Carpet Line" emblem on it.

The body of a derrick crane.

An unknown wooden boxcar.

GATX tank car 2997.

Nevada Southern Railway caboose, formerly Union Pacific 906255 and originally Union Pacific 25578 built in 1964. It has been restored as a crew car.

Western Pacific caboose 449 built in 1955. In 1981 it was acquired by the Union Pacific and painted in this unqiue paint scheme.

Union Pacific dorm-lounge 6100 built in 1949, photographed through the fence. We left here and headed back to Henderson to the Clark County Museum where we paid $3 ($2 for Elizabeth and $1 for me as a senior) before we looked around the museum.

Clark County Museum

We first walked over to the steam engine that was on the edge of the normally-open parking lot.

Union Pacific 0-6-0 4442, sister engine to 4466 at the California State Railroad Museum. It used to be displayed in Freedom Park.

Information board about the engine.

Of the twenty built in 1918, this was one of six coal burners in the otherwise oil-burning batch.

Southern Pacific Harriman coach under restoration, number unknown.

Museum scene.

Union Pacific Boulder City station built in 1931.

Unknown Union Pacific baggage car.

Union Pacific caboose 25147 built in 1944 as Union Pacific 3847.

Northern Pacific speeder 1102265.

Union Pacific box car 171500.

Museum view. Next I went back into the museum to have a look around.

Museum scenes. We did not go through all the buildings as I did not have an interest in them. I then drove us all the way to Cedar City.

Cedar City Union Pacific station.

Union Pacific wooden freight house.

The Union Pacific block freight house. We checked in to the Best Western Town and Country then the four of us went for dinner at Arby's before returning to the hotel. Elizabeth and I checked things on the Internet before writing part of the story then called it a night.

Day 2 8/15/2021 We arose then had breakfast at the hotel which was excellent. After checking out, Greg drove us to Fillmore but had no luck in finding the depot there. We backtracked to Richfield where we found our first depot of the day.

The Richfield Denver and Rio Grande Western station.

My handle on on this sign opposite the station. We drove north up US 89 to Pleasant Valley where we spotted our next train station of the day after we had lunch at Ephraim.

The abandoned railway grade of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western branchline that used to run from Thistle to Richfield.

My travelling friends and my lovely wife.

Denver and Rio Grande Western station from Fairview.

Northern Pacific caboose which became Morrison Knudsen 5235901 before going to the Promontory Chapter NRHS. It was then donated to the Salt Lake, Garfield and Western for restoration which did not occur and was sold, restored and is now on display at Mount Pleasant. All the box cars are Union Pacific.

Now Open Resort-Lodging on this box car.

The unknown caboose.

You can stay in any of these box cars. From here I drove us north to Thistle and we showed Greg and Marty all of the changes in railroading that occurred in 1983 when the mountan slid down and formed a lake so the Rio Grande railroad had to bore two tunnels through the mountain which took over two months to reopen the railroad. Lake Thistle was then drained and US 89 was rebuilt to reach US Highway 6. From here we stopped at a rest area.

At the Tie Fork rest area I found a fake steam engine and roundhouse under construction.

The Tie Fork rest area where we all used the restroom. We then drove to Soldier Summit and gassed up the car before driving over to the tracks.

Greg, Marty and my loving wife Elizabeth at Soldier Summit. I then drove us to near Helper when we spotted a Union Pacific westbound train and gave chase.

Union Pacific 8915 West at Castle Rock. We continued west.

Union Pacific 8915 West at the lower Kyunne Tunnel. I drove us west to Kyunne Pass Road.

Union Pacific 8915 West at Kyunne Pass Road. Elizabeth took over the driving.

Greg, Marty and my oh so loving Elizabeth at the Utah Railroad Martin Shop building. She drove us to downtown Helper.

Utah Railway caboose 55 at Helper. From here she drove us to Price where we checked into the Quality Inn. We had dinner at JB's Restaurant before continuing to work on the story then called it a night.