January 25, 2010 – The Nevada Southern Railway and the River Mountains Loop Trail share something in common. Know what it is? Right-of-way number one, but also history. The trail and railroad run parallel through Railroad Pass east toward Boulder City for about a mile. The railroad is visible from the trail all the way up to Bootleg Canyon. The tracks and railbed are the same ones used by Union Pacific to deliver materials and supplies to build Hoover Dam in the 1930’s. The trail crosses the tracks twice on either side of Railroad Pass and provides live action opportunities when the train runs on weekends.
The Nevada Southern Railway is a partner in the River Mountains Trail Partnership and has participated in many Trail Day functions over the years. We hope one day to arrange for trail and train rides that allow users to ride one way and hike or bike the other. The Nevada Southern Railway operates on weekends and has regular scheduled hours of operation. The Nevada State Railroad Museum is built just off Yucca St. in Boulder City and is where Union Pacific and U.S. Government Railroad met and transferred materials. The museum has restored old engines and cars as time and budget allows. They have considerable rolling stock. For more information check out their web site at: http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
The history part of the trail and trains continues where the trail picks up the old railbed on the east side of Boulder City near Pacific Trailhead and follows the old U.S. Government Railroad rail line down through Hemingway Wash to the Lawyer Junction where The Sixes Company Railroad took over, also known as the Historic Railroad trailhead just below Alan Bible Visitor Center. From this trailhead you can continue on to Hoover Dam via the Historic Railroad Trail or stay on the River Mountains Loop Trail heading north along Lakeshore Rd. There is also another railroad bed heading out of the Lawyer Junction only visible to the keen eye and best seen on the north side of Lakeshore Dr. from the paved River Mountains Loop Trail.
Railroad Gallery. Black and white are from Bureau of Reclamation public photo archives: