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Nevada: Rent and run a historic locomotive at a discount

March 29, 2011|By Benoit Lebourgeois | Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Locomotive 40 is among the equipment that can be rented by would-be train engineers in Ely, Nev.
Locomotive 40 is among the equipment that can be rented by would-be train… (Benoit Lebourgeois )

What kid or adult has not daydreamed about playing train engineer? 

The Nevada Northern Railway, a National Historic Landmark in Ely, Nev., about 250 miles north of Las Vegas, stokes the dreams of the Old West by renting out a century-old steam locomotive to would-be engineers who can shove coal into the firebox, pull on the throttle and blow the whistle.

The rental price, which runs into the hundreds, varies. But if you book and pay by Thursday for trips between April and October, you can get a discount.

Among your options:

-- A 14-mile “ Locomotive Hands-on Experience “ costs $690 at the commands of a steam engine or $490 to operate a diesel locomotive from the 1950s. Both rides are offered at $105 off the standard fare.

--A new “Train Operating Experience,” in which the locomotive pulls freight cars, covers 28 miles and lasts four to five hours, typically over the course of two days. It costs $1,990 for the steam engine and $1,290 for the diesel engine – a $405 discount off the regular price for either option.

Info: Nevada Northern  Railway, (866) 407-8326.

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