Maybe it's true that you're blessed if you have good friends in high
places. Or maybe, as noted in the '60's, it's even better to have high
friends in good places. But if you're a person who, like me, has always
had a thing about trains, it's really, really good to have a friend
who owns a railroad.
Tom Gray is my new friend. His family owns an excursion rail line, the
Virginia and Truckee
Railroad, in the historic silver mining town of Virginia City, about
a 45 minute drive up the Geiger Grade from Reno. Virginia City is where
the Comstock Load fortunes were made and where Samuel Clemens cut his
This is the off season for excursion railroads, and a good thing too,
because their 82 year old steam locomotive that wows the tourists up
in Virginia City has been ambushed by suddenly more stringent federal
regulations. It seems that a boiler explosion (NOT in Virginia City)
that claimed a few lives has put the heat on this country's steam locomotives.