Monthly Archives: March 2008

V&T Truckee River Bridge

I posted a bunch of pictures yesterday of the V&T railroad bridge across the Truckee River, in downtown Reno. This bridge was first built in 1872 when the line was extended from Carson to Reno. In all, three different bridges spanned the river. First there was a wooden bridge, which can be seen at the far right of this photo:

Soon the wooden bridge was replaced with this boxy bridge:

Then in 1896 the final bridge was installed:

The bridge was removed after the line was abandoned in 1950.

All the photos can be found at tag:vtrenobridge.

Reno Enginehouse

I posted quite a few pictures yesterday of the V&T enginehouse in Reno. This single-stall enginehouse was right near the Truckee River, along the V&T mainline, and had a turntable and a water tank in the vicinity.

The enginehouse was built in the late 1800s, probably soon after the branch line to Reno was built in 1872.

The enginehouse burned on May 1, 1950, with Engine #26 inside. There was only one month left before abandonment of the line

All the photos can be found at tag:vtrenoenginehouse

The Suicide of Engine 26

On May 1, 1950, V&T Engine #26 finished its daily run from Reno to Carson City and Minden and back, and was eased backwards into the Reno enginehouse near the banks of the Truckee River. The crew went through their normal routine of shutting her down, and headed home to rest up for the next day’s run. The V&T was in its last days, and the line was scheduled to be shut down at the end of the month. #26 only had a few more weeks service ahead of her before she was to be put out to pasture and, most likely, dismantled for scrap. The best she could hope for, probably, would be to be placed in a park or at the state museum, on display as one of the few remaining relics of the glory days of the Virginia and Truckee. No matter what, her days of active service were almost over.

Half an hour after the doors of the old wooden enginehouse were locked, a fire alarm went up on the east side of Reno. Firefighters arrived to find the enginehouse engulfed in flames, with Engine 26 still stowed away inside. Some glowing ember or spark from the engine must have made its way into some flammable material left around the shop, and ignited the blaze. Firefighters did their best, but it was too late. The enginehouse was completely destroyed, and the engine reduced to a charred pile of scrap. Sentimentalists surmised that Engine 26, knowing of her fate, decided to go out in the most spectacular way possible.

Photographer Bill Beatty had taken pictures of the engine being put away for the night, so he was still close by and able to come back and take this dramatic photo.

List All Photographers

I added some code today to bring up a list of all the photographers featured on the site. Many of the photos come in with no information about who took them, but quite a few do have the name of the photographer listed. Now there is one handy page that lists all the photographers that have been identified, and shows how many of their pictures are in the collection. If you click on their name, it takes you to another page where you can browse through all of their photos. Just another feature I’ve wanted since the beginning and finally got around to building.

New Addition: View from the Dome

I wanted to single this photo out because it’s just so great.

Fred Nietz Collection

Fred Nietz added a bunch of really interesting photos to Flickr last week, all of them Carson history pictures. Some of them were from the 30s through 50s, but most of them were taken in the 1980s, making them an interesting study on “near history”. I wrote about this on Around Carson earlier.

So of course with a stash of pictures this rich and this interesting, I couldn’t just leave them alone. I had to intercept them for the WNHPC as well. So I’ve been working, slowly as usual, to add these pictures into the collection and write descriptions for them. He posted a total of 57 pictures, and said he has more, so you’ll see them trickling in if you keep your eye on the All Photos page. Here are a few samples from this great collection.