Developer proposes historical center/resort for Carson City depot

Virginia & Truckee Railway officials will consider a plan Monday to build the Carson City terminal for the reconstructed tourist railroad in a proposed 153-acre development off Highway 50 East that includes plans for a casino/hotel and museums.

Bob Hadfield, chairman for the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway, said Friday the commission will select the preferred site to bring the steam locomotive into Carson City at its Monday meeting.

"The proposal is a combination of private property ownership and land that would come to Carson City as part of the land bill, because it's BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land on the fringes of the city, he said. "It would involve Parks and Rec. Hannafin/Darney (Architecture firm) has been working on the conceptual drawing."

The site and design of the Carson City terminal has been in the works for more than 10 years, since the original 1994 engineering study.

Developer Andy Hettrick, project manager for RIDL Ltd., will propose a development that is considerably more than just a train depot.

Hettrick said Friday the site is "totally conceptual" until the V&T commission has ratified it.

"It's a proposed 153-acre mixed-use development project in conjunction with the V&T commission," he said.

Hettrick said it's located off Highway 50 East near the county line on land that RIDL owns and is in the process of purchasing. He declined to give any other details about the proposed project, but that a casino operator has not been chosen yet. The project is called "Destination Nevada at Carson City."

"It will have commercial and residential," Hettrick said. "It will be an entire development on the east side of town."

Hadfield said the possible location offered by Hettrick affords a beautiful view of Slide Mountain and Jobs Peak.

"We want it to go to Highway 50 because we can't get downtown," he said. "We need to stay out of the flood plain and we would be right in it if we go in along the old route. Most of the old right-of-way is gone or built upon. The cost of any attempt would be prohibitive."

The historic V&T shops and depot were on East Washington Street. The train stopped here to unload or board passengers and load freight before heading north to Reno through Washoe Valley or south to Minden.

Commissioners plan to run their recently purchased $420,000 steam locomotive on the reconstructed tracks between Carson City and Gold Hill then ride on the railroad line up to Virginia City. The V&T Railroad is a tourist track operated by Bob Gray since 1976. Officials say the 18-mile reconstructed track could be operating by 2009.

Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Candy Duncan said her board had been scheduled to also hear about the plan Monday, but it had to be postponed because of a scheduling conflict.

"No one has agreed if this is what's going to happen," she said. "But it'd be wonderful if it did."

-- Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.

If You Go

What: The Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway meeting

When: 4 p.m. Monday

Where: Nevada Association of Counties building, second-floor conference room, 201 S. Roop St.


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