Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Any V&T modelers out there?

10662 views
40 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Nevada
  • 825 posts
Any V&T modelers out there?
Posted by NevinW on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 8:35 AM
I have long been a big fan of the V&T. I lived in Reno in the early 1980's. A good friend of mine, Dale Darney past away recently and he was a noted V&T expert. I am toying with the idea of building some V&T models or even a V&T model railroad partly in his honor. Anyone else out there modeling the V&T? - Nevin
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • 1,138 posts
Posted by MidlandPacific on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:40 AM
Nope, but if you're looking for craftsman-quality V&T models, you might try Rio Grande Models - they make some nice stuff.

http://mprailway.blogspot.com

"The first transition era - wood to steel!"

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Colorful Colorado
  • 8,639 posts
Posted by Texas Zepher on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 2:31 PM
I started modeling the V&T when I was in the third grade, because that was the first "new" locomotive I ever got (An AHM Reno). At first I thought Virginia meant the state! Took me a while to figure it out .... Then I switched to N-scale in 1969 and all the V&T stuff went into boxes where it still is today (somewhere).

Fascinating little railroad though.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:18 PM
i've been gathering suitable examples of their locomotive power, and scratchbuilding their rolling stock for a few years now.

this is not because i am intentionally modeling the V & T, but because they had good stuff for modeling purposes.

you might want to check with the nevada state railroad museum in carson city. they're in the process of modeling the V & T in 1:1 scale to virginia city.
  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: Manitou, Okla
  • 1,630 posts
Posted by mikesmowers on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:20 PM
What is V&T?
Modeling Trains Is Not A Matter Of Life Or Death, It Is Much More Important Than That!!
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • 1,138 posts
Posted by MidlandPacific on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:38 PM
Virginia and Truckee - a small railroad that connected Carson City, Minden, and Virginia City with the Central Pacific (later the Southern Pacific) at Reno, Nevada. Famous for its role in boom times, for its prolonged survival, and its ancient equipment.

http://mprailway.blogspot.com

"The first transition era - wood to steel!"

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Midtown Sacramento
  • 3,340 posts
Posted by Jetrock on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 6:31 PM
Its SURVIVING ancient equipment...while I'm not sure if any of them still actually run, a lot of the V&T wood-burning steamers are still around at museums because the V&T went broke and couldn't modernize, and because they got a second lease on life being used as props in cowboy movies. There are three V&T locomotives at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, and more at the Nevada state railroad museum. Great stuff, although it can be hard to get the models these days...there is always brass, I suppose.

I suppose I technically "modeled" the V&T--a diorama I built representing a generic roundhouse and turntable had V&T locomotives added to it.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 7:13 PM
Nevin,
This is an excellent V&T web site, enjoy

http://www.comstockcarshops.com/cchome.html
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:27 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Jetrock
...while I'm not sure if any of them still actually run......because the V&T went broke and couldn't modernize,..., although it can be hard to get the models these days...


some of their locomotives still run: they provide rides around museum property during holiday occasions, and the "inyo" is rated to run at 40# of boiler pressure (originally 80#).

the V&T never went broke: it was built and run by the richest men in the world which made them even richer. after the comstock went bust, there was enough money laying around that they could keep it going for sentimental reasons up until around 1938, when the last heir that cared for the railroad had died. the film industry is responsible for any surving equipment after that.

rivarossi produced two versions of the "reno" from the early seventies (in 0 scale) through the '90's. the early version is called the "genoa", and the later, the "reno". out of production, they are generally available on auction sites for less than $200.. everything is available in H0. the V&T used a lot of moguls, and a consolidation or two. both are commonly available to model.
  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Carmichael, CA
  • 8,055 posts
Posted by twhite on Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:26 AM
Rivarossi produced 3 V&T models back in the 'sixties, the "Reno," "Inyo" and "J.W.Bowker." The first two were 4-4-0's, main difference was in the stacks, the third was a 2-4-0. The models all seem to be available from time to time on E-Bay. All are tender-driven, but have rather smooth mechanisms--at least for their time. All three locomotives became famous movie stars beginning with 1939's UNION PACIFIC, when they were rented to Paramount Pictures for the big-screen railroad epic. There are 3 V&T locos at the California State Railroad museum in Sacramento, and about 4 more V&T locos at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, NV. The Carson City site also has a number of V&T freight, passenger and MOW cars. Plans are afoot by the state of Nevada to re-lay the track from Carson City to Virginia City over the original roadbed.
The V&T did own one 2-8-0 late in its career, it was an ex-Nevada Copper Belt Consolidation, but for the most part, their locos were 2-6-0's and 4-4-0's, most dating from between 1869 to 1900.
I was in High Sierra Models in Reno NV a couple of weeks ago, and they seemed to carry a fairly large stock of V&T equipment in HO scale. You might check the hobby shop listings in MR and give them a call.
Tom
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Nevada
  • 825 posts
Posted by NevinW on Thursday, June 29, 2006 8:49 AM
It is good to see there is at least some knowledge and interest in the V&T. It seems to have been more popular to model in the 60's and 70's than in the past 10 years. Almost all of the brass seems to be from that era. I may give high Sierra Models a call. - Nevin
  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Carmichael, CA
  • 8,055 posts
Posted by twhite on Thursday, June 29, 2006 11:04 AM
Nevin--PFM imported several brass V&T locos during the 'sixties and 'seventies, I can't remember exactly which locos they were, but I think one was the straight-stacked "Reno". They also imported a "Golden Spike" set representing the Central Pacific ("Jupiter") and Union Pacific (#119) locomotvies that met at Promontory Summit in 1869. If any of these sets are still available, they could be adapted to look like V&T locos ("Genoa" and "Reno", specifically). But they're probably pretty pricey. I know that Bachmann made the same set in plastic in HO, but as to their running qualities, I have no knowledge. Walthers used to make the V&T 'Blacksmith Car' as part of one of their MOW sets, but again, how available that is anymore, could be anyone's guess. For passenger equipment, right now, the best bet would be to go with Roundhouse's 1870's coaches, they're still available in V&T lettering, and look fairly authentic. Since the V&T interchanged with SP in Reno, freight equipment could be from almost any railroad. Depending on which era you choose to model (V&T started in 1869, ran until 1950 or so), there's a pretty good selection out there, especially from Roundhouse for the early turn-of-20th century cars. The main problem will be finding the locos.
Tom
  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Midtown Sacramento
  • 3,340 posts
Posted by Jetrock on Thursday, June 29, 2006 11:41 AM
Thanks for the more detailed information--I was under the impression that after the Comstock lode slowly petered out they just ran the equipment they had without upgrading, much to the delight of Lucius Beebee decades later. I used to have a plastic "Bowker" when I was a kid, it slowly got wrecked and part of it lives on in the aforementioned diorama.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 29, 2006 6:53 PM
jetrock,

your impression is correct. the second boom of the comstock finished with the 1870's, but that was just the "glory days". for the next thirty years the mines produced, just not at the level of uncountable profits as before.

the V&T management; although sympathetic for their railroad, were not stupid (not completely anyway - the C & C is another story). with the mines fading, and rail traffic down, they wisely switched to a maintenance attitude and stopped most new acquisitions. having a good crew, the V&T kept more labor than they should have, and when times are slow, a lot of maintenance takes place.

on a side note: a friend of mine recently retired from the mining union, and his last job was closing the mines at virginia city.

nevin,

high sierra models is a fine store and one of my favorites; i hope you find all you are looking for. unless they have moved to china, Roundhouse (the H0 train manufacturer) operates out of carson city and they sometimes produce V&T sets outside the normal channels of distribution. they are very pretty and sometimes hard to get. it probably wouldn't hurt to ask.

-rrick
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:35 PM
Hello?
The SP bought the C&CRR, and within a year or two, recovered its investment (and handsome profits for some years after), because of the Tonopah and Goldfield mineral rush. So, don't give me any of that "C&C was a waste of money." The railroad lasted until 1960! I'd define that as success, not failure.

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Nevada
  • 825 posts
Posted by NevinW on Friday, June 30, 2006 5:36 AM
At the time it was built however, they did say it was "built either 300 miles or 300 years too soon" . - Nevin
  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Nashville TN
  • 1,306 posts
Posted by Wdlgln005 on Friday, June 30, 2006 10:10 PM
Athearn released a number of exMDC items in V&T. You can get a set of Overton & Overland passenger cars. The excellent 2-8-0 Consolidation will pull them. THey have also released the wood caboose. You may find other olt time MDC freight cars in the Athearn line.
Glenn Woodle
  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Carmichael, CA
  • 8,055 posts
Posted by twhite on Saturday, July 1, 2006 1:09 AM
Jetrock:
Rick Bonfiglio is right about the V&T keeping their equipment in top form clear up to the abandonment--around 1949 my cousin and I paralleled the Reno-Carson City main on (old) US 395 and caught up with a train. The loco was in really PRIME condition, and so were the cars. And this was the year before it was torn up. The railroad was a class act from conception to abandonment.
Tom
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 1, 2006 1:32 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by twhite
--around 1949 my cousin and I paralleled the Reno-Carson City main on (old) US 395 and caught up with a train.


tom,

traveling north, were the tracks on the right side of the road, or the left. by the time i came upon the scene, all that was left were the ruins of the franktown water tower.

what about washoe city; has it changed any in the last 60 years?

-rrick
  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Carmichael, CA
  • 8,055 posts
Posted by twhite on Saturday, July 1, 2006 5:28 PM
Rick--on old 395 north from Carson City, the tracks were on the left. Crossed the highway near Franktown and continued on the right into Reno. As I remember--and I'm going back a ways--best close-up view of the right of way was from Carson City to Washoe lake. After the crossing, the tracks angled off to about a mile away from the old highway. If I remember correctly, we stopped at Franktown to watch the train go by.
Unfortunately, I've only traveled to Carson City a few times in the past 30 years, and have only hit it coming over from Tahoe on US 50. I understand that the new freeway 395 is on a different grade than the old one. I don't know how much of the old roadbed is visible anymore, except for the cut on the sidehill leading down into Carson City.
I really should take another trip up that way before I get TOO old, LOL! Evidently the plans to re-rail the Carson City-Virginia City portion of the line has gotten a go-ahead by the State of Nevada--the main job will be filling in for an embankment over the old open-mine pit near Gold Hill. Last time I was in Virginia City, the tracks had been laid down into Gold Hill, and evidently the roadbed from Gold Hill down through American Flats is in pretty good condition.
It will be interesting to see if the project gets going.
Tom

PS: Do you happen to have a relative named Gregory who is a Jesuit Priest? Reason I ask, is that Gregory Bonfiglio is the President of the high school where I teach here in Carmichael. Just wondered.
Tom
  • Member since
    June 2006
  • From: Gardnerville, Nv
  • 48 posts
Posted by lilivalley on Monday, July 3, 2006 1:16 PM
I am a member of the Nevada State railroad Museum in Carson City. I might beable to get some information and pictures for you.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 8, 2006 6:15 PM
Tom,

I do have a cousin Gregory, and he used to work for the Church, but I think he has gotten over it. Since he lives in Redondo Beach, I think we’re talking about a different guy.

The improvements to 395 don’t interfere with the old right of way. 395, instead of turning right onto Main St. will continue past the quarry, through town about at Graves St., and hopefully reconnect well south of town. Probably the best thing for travelers in a long time.

Nevin, and others who may be interested,

I had recently read a couple of articles concerning the V & T that might be of interest to one intending to model the railroad or one of it’s features. Two are in the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette magazine.

In the May/June 2000 issue, starting on page 49 is a layout of Virginia City that I think is pretty well done. It captures the essence of the place as it existed in the mid 1930’s.

Since I’m more of a “stickbuilder” rather than a true modeler, and I know Virginia City pretty well, it would be an impossible task for me to perform. This fellow is good at what he did and is inspiring in his use of selective compression to create a model that leaves out 90% of what’s there, yet you’re able to easily recognize the place, and it does not inspire criticism. Anybody thinking of modeling this place, can learn a lot from this fellows efforts.

Since the V & T has spurs to all the mines, and Virginia City is on the side of a mountain, this would be an excellent switching layout.

In the November/December 2005 issue, is an article on the Eureka Mill. The Mill was about one mile from the V & T and uses a little 30” narrow gauge to transport ore from the incline railway, that connects the two, to the mill where the silver was extracted. Those itching to model a stamp mill will find fertile ground here.

The magazine specializes in narrow gauges, two of which touch the V&T, and shortlines which the V&T was (52 miles).
I’m thinking there is a lot more available in their archives.

Mallory Hope Farrell has recently written a book on the subject. I got mine at the railroad museum in Carson City. It tells you what you want to know, and has pictures of what you want to see; probably the best single source material, and it has drawings and plans for those who kitbash or scratchbuild.

Lilivalley,

On that information you offered; I’ve been thinking of donating some time as a craftsman to the effort. I need the name and number of the guy that coordinates what gets rebuilt, and how it is to be done. Contact me at rrichard91320@yahoo.com.

-rrick
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Dover, DE
  • 1,313 posts
Posted by hminky on Saturday, July 8, 2006 7:06 PM
The Bachmann old time 4-4-0 "Jupiter" is a "right-on" for the V&T Genoa and runs really well if you add electrical wipers on the tender.

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/1879/locomotives/wipers/

The addition of the wipers will allow it to crawl over Atlas dead switch frogs.

Harold
  • Member since
    April 2005
  • 484 posts
Posted by caboose63 on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 8:48 PM
I saw an article in trains or the railroad press from about two years ago that said the state of nevada and private interests are working on getting the Virginia & Truckeee rebuilt and extended to a connection with the union pacific.
  • Member since
    April 2005
  • 484 posts
Posted by caboose63 on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 7:52 PM
i don't model the V&T but i do have one of MDC's 40 foot V&T green gondolas i picked up for about 5 bucks at a flea market in lapeer michigan in 2001. it has small mw in lower left hand corner that i am guessing means it was used for work train service
  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Texas
  • 231 posts
Posted by bwftex on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 9:57 PM
Nevin,
   I don't model the V&T but the shortline I model operated in much the same time period and used some equiptment similar to the V&T and locomotives similar to the V&T #26 and #27 4-6-0's. PFM and Beaver Creek imported brass models of these. The Beaver Ceek models are exceptional. PFM models are very nice espically the later versions with plated drivers with the motor located in the boiler rather than the tender driven issue. Other V&T loco's have also been offered in brass and plastic so you should be able to build up a V&T roster quite easily. Its on of the best represented shortlines in all of modelrailroading. You might check the magazine index. Over the past 30 years the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette has done numerous articles and scale drawings of V&T equipment and structures. It's one of the few standard gauge shortlines the Gazette has paid much attention to.  Keep us posted on your progress. Most steam era shortliners regardless of what railroad they model are always interested to hear about the V&T.  Bruce

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • 166 posts
Posted by toot toot on Saturday, January 27, 2007 2:11 PM
there are a number of V&T models available in brass in addition to the PFM 4-4-0s "Original" and modernized.  PFM and Westside both did 4-6-0 #26, Beaver creek 4-6-0s 26 and 27, Key, & GHB did 4-6-0 #25, Model Engineering Works did an excellent 2-6-0 "Tahoe" #20, and back in 1952 International imported a somewhat crude 4-4-0 #12, Ken Kidder imported the same model in 1958
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Big Bear Lake and Palm Springs, CA
  • 35 posts
Posted by Josta on Saturday, January 27, 2007 9:13 PM

A bit OT but the railroad's extension to Carson City is in progress.  The track now runs from Virginia City to American Flat, and the V&T ran trains to American Flat last fall.

Here is a website on the reconstruction project:

 http://www.vtrailway.com/

JOHN

Brass Hat, Gulf and Pacific Railroad HO/HOn3 (Modelled to represent mid 1960's) Big Bear Lake, CA.  For pictures and videos of the layout please see below:

YouTube Channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/jostaiii?feature=mhee

Photobucket: http://s584.photobucket.com/albums/ss287/josta1954/

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • 235 posts
Posted by TwinZephyr on Sunday, January 28, 2007 8:32 AM

Unfortunately this is not entirely true.  The Virginia & Truckee is not being rebuilt.  What they are doing is building a modern tourist railroad which runs through some of the area where the V&T tracks used to be.  There will not be a Union Pacific connection. 

 jrinnorthcountry63 wrote:
I saw an article in trains or the railroad press from about two years ago that said the state of nevada and private interests are working on getting the Virginia & Truckeee rebuilt and extended to a connection with the union pacific.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • 235 posts
Posted by TwinZephyr on Sunday, January 28, 2007 8:42 AM

Is there any evidence of this model other than the Brown Book listing?  Can anyone provide a photo of the box label or maybe an old advertisement? 

 toot toot wrote:
back in 1952 International imported a somewhat crude 4-4-0 #12

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!