It began 34 years ago with six railroad buffs in a living room. Since then the Virginia & Truckee Railroad History Symposium has matured into an event that attracts up to 200 people in two different Carson City locations.
John Frink, museum program coordinator, said the symposium is celebrating several milestones this year.
"Our crown jewel is the Inyo, which is 130 years old," he said. "We run it every year on the Fourth of July weekend. It's the oldest operating steam locomotive in the country. Locomotive No. 25 is 100 years old. And the V&T; ended 55 years ago. We're also celebrating the museum's 25th anniversary. The Friends of the Museum - the organization from which we get all the volunteers - is 20 years old this year."
Several V&T; historians will speak at the event, including Larry Meeker. He will speak about the Carson & Colorado, the railroad from Mound House to Keeler, Calif.
Steve Van Denburgh, of Carson City, will speak about the Southern Pacific narrow gauge railroad, which included the C&C.;
Admission is still open for the Oct. 20-23 event at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City and at the Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. This year's symposium includes a night photography session with V&T; locomotives No. 22 and No. 25 on Oct. 20.
On Oct. 21, Meeker will give his presentation on the C&C;'s Hawthorne Route and the Sierra Valleys Railroad. That day's speakers also include: Van Denburgh, Charlie Siebenthal, with a retrospective look at Robert Dockery's V&T; photography and Kevin Ray on the reconstruction of the V&T.;
On Oct. 22, Larry Jensen will discuss the many roles played by V&T; locomotives in major Hollywood movies; Stephen Drew will present a session on V&T; Railfan Excursions from 1938 to 1950. Don Ball will describe a typical day on the V&T; Railroad in 1876. Stathi Pappas will present "Keeping the Iron Hot: A Socio-technical Analysis of the Sierra Railway Machine Shop." Stan Gentry will discuss the Union Iron Works.
Registration is limited to 200 participants. Registration fees are $45. Fees cover Friday and Saturday sessions, a Friday night reception at the railroad museum and a Sunday morning program in the museum's restoration shop.
The night photography session is an additional $35, with space for this program limited to 30. The Saturday night banquet is $32 for Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum members and $42 for nonmembers. For symposium information, contact Peter Barton at 687-8288.
For online registration information, visit the Web site at www.nsrm-friends.org.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
If you go
What: Virginia & Truckee Railroad History Symposium
When: Oct. 20-23
Where: Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City and at the Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
Call: Peter Barton at 687-8288 or visit www.nsrm-friends.org